Chaos To Clarity: The Alchemical Art Of Transformation With John Hernandez

Do you know your business could be much bigger than it currently is, but aren’t sure how to get there? I can help!

TTB John Hernandez | Alchemy


Picture this: ancient secrets, symbolism, and the quest to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. It’s not Harry Potter; it’s the real world of alchemy, and it’s waiting to be explored. Join us in entering the mystical world of alchemy with John Hernandez, founder of the Alchemy Coaching Institute. John masterfully brings this ancient tradition into the 21st century, demonstrating how its principles can be applied to everyday life, business, and personal growth. From the foundational stages of alchemy to the importance of nurturing your own alchemical journey, John covers everything about the importance of this ancient wisdom in our modern lives. Tune in now and let the magic begin!


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Chaos To Clarity: The Alchemical Art Of Transformation With John Hernandez

Our goal is to help you be a better leader, inspire more people, create the passion your community wants, and profit from the experience. Some people ask me why I created this show, and the answer is simple. I want to learn from my guests and my audience how to effectively start, grow, nourish, and capitalize on a tribe. I believe tribes are the social experience that brings people together in many unique ways, and I want to share that with you.

I also want to hear from you. What action do you take from every amazing guest we speak to? If you are a coach, I have a special gift for you. Go to and download my new book, my third book, for free. If you like it, leave a review on Amazon. If you want a hard copy, you can get it there. Now, onto my guest and his incredible story.

Alchemy, often relegated to the realm of myth and fantasy, is a multifaceted discipline with historical and philosophical depth. While popularly known for the chimerical quest to transmute base metals like lead into gold, alchemy’s scope extends far beyond the simplistic understanding. At its core, alchemy also encompasses a rigorous introspective journey aimed at refining the human spirit and consciousness. This inner alchemy focuses on activating an elevated state of thought, emotion, and performance. While the gold-making aspect gets all the Hollywood glam, the real treasure may lie in its potential for profound personal transformation.

Our guest is a full instructor with the International Alchemy Guild and is studying under renowned masters in this space. His background is in ancient history. He has traveled to Rome, Egypt, Prague, South Africa, and many of the sites in Europe in his studies. He is here with us to share some of the secrets that you could use to get better results, improve your life, and share what he brings to the world. Welcome, John Hernandez, to the show.

Thank you, Mitch. Great to be here.

It’s my pleasure to have you, John. Tell me, how did this all start for you?

It started with my mother reading me books on Egyptian mythology, Greek mythology, and Thousand One Arabian Nights when I was a little kid instead of the normal child books. I was captivated. I wrote my first paper on Egypt when I was in late grammar school and got to interview Louis Alvarez, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist, who did some work with his son at the Great Pyramid.

At a young age, I was privileged to have access to that. I’ve been following this path ever since then. Alchemy has come in and out of my life throughout the years. I got solidly interested in saying, “I want to know more, but where do I go?” I found something called the International Alchemy Guild, which is an unbroken chain since the 1500s of the work of actual alchemy work.

The word alchemy is coined and used a lot. Typically, it’s somebody who likes the word and knows it’s led to gold and transformation, but they don’t know what goes behind the curtain. I got involved in that. I did learn from some of the remaining legitimate alchemists out there. I later became an instructor after I passed the coursework and was invited to become a mentor in the study course of the International Alchemy Guild or instructor for that.

That is that particular journey. My life itself, unbeknownst to me at the time, took an alchemical journey going through epic successes and what I call biblical failures. To this day, the difference is that the cycle continues. It’s part of the cycle of life and business, but now I have the toolset to look through it to the other side.

Let’s add some perspective to that. You started studying alchemy way before you got involved in some of your business adventures. Is that true?

Yes, that’s correct.

You were living in the physical world but studying the metaphysical world through alchemy. How many years ago did you start that process?

Several years ago, I was starting it in a serious way.

What started to happen is that your business started to scale and take turns. You’ll tell us more about that. What I’m interested in initially is how alchemy played a role in the twists and turns, the ups and downs of business and life. Give us some examples of how the practical application of alchemy to how you conduct your business or did conduct your business, and maybe even how it pulled you out of bad situations and brought you some insights into where you are.

To do that, I’ll bullet point the alchemical steps. First of all, alchemy is an art and science that works on the physical, the metaphysical, and the psychological, all three at the same time. It’s not one or the other. It’s all three. There are three aspects of it. There is a linear formula, but I will say that the linear formula works well to begin with. What I’ve come to know is that that formula changes over time. It repeats steps and moves through steps.

TTB John Hernandez | Alchemy
Alchemy: Alchemy is an art and science that works on the physical, the metaphysical, and the psychological at the same time.


I’ll go over the steps and show you how they worked in my life. The first step is a fire step called calcination. It’s about burning away something. It’s burning away the excess, droughts, and pieces that are in the way. Once you do that, there’s a water stage called dissolution, where the remaining ash of that burnt product is dissolved in a solution. That’s the emotional stage, or it can be the emotional stage.

Alchemist thought tears were crystallized thoughts. It was alive in the alchemical world to access emotions. In this business world, we have emotional literacy as a big piece, and this follows suit. I can fold those in together later. The next is the air stage called separation, where you have this dissolved stuff, and it’s now dried in the air. You’re left with two basic elements.

The two basic parts of your psyche could be soul and spirit, head and heart, or shadow and gold. It’s conjoined. This is the earth stage. That’s called the chemical wedding, where these two pieces are now fused into one. That’s the sovereign piece. The leadership piece is there, where I get to have the vision of the leader and make the difficult choices of being a leader. This is a critical point in alchemy, and this is what I see out in the world a lot. This is the point where a lot of folks that are following the work or even unconsciously following the work, stop. What happens if you stop at that point? There’s a tendency for narcissism and grandiosity.

TTB John Hernandez | Alchemy
Alchemy: If you stop at the psyche point, there’s a tendency for narcissism and grandiosity.


You describe the elements or a pathway that defines the alchemical process. Let’s go back and unpack that a little bit. It’s interesting. Which step one? Describe it again, and tell me what it shows up in real life looking like.

Step one is called calcination. It’s a firestone. Sometimes, in life, we may figure that something is not working or I’m hitting a roadblock. A lot of the time, the roadblocks are here, not there. Sometimes, things are going great seemingly, but there’s potential that we’re not reaching. There’s something in the way. The fire step is about doing some deep introspective work or working with a mentor because, a lot of times, this stuff is buried, and I’ll give an analogy of that later.

Let me ask a question at this stage. In stage one, you hit a roadblock. In normal life, you try and solve whatever problem comes up. Whether you lost a client, you get another client, whatever you have to do, you’re going about your life. As an alchemist, that’s a trigger that says, “I’m in step one. I need to apply step two.” Am I getting this correctly?

Yes, but you need to perform step one first. You need to figure out what’s going on and what’s behind that. If I lose a client, a client is complete, and other times, it might be some impact that I had from something I am not seeing. That’s where the uncovering process begins. Once you get to that piece, that might be driving that behavior or cause you to push someone away if we’re using this particular example. I go in and work to burn that out, create that belief system, and turn it into an ash of some kind.

I want to relate that to the real world. How do I take something and convert it into ash? In a practical example, I lost a client. I don’t know why, or I completed them. How do I apply alchemy to my life right now, right here? I take a step back and go, “I can apply step one.” What would I do in the real world, knowing alchemy once that happens?

I’ll give you a real-world example based on my own experience. One of the vendors that we work with was several years ago, and they abruptly terminated us as their partner. I got to take a look and say, “The fit wasn’t good. I didn’t like what they were doing.” Finally, I realized, “I created an impact. I caused this because I had a belief system, which was my way or the highway.” When I started to unpack that, this was a few months after it, I realized what I had been doing. I had to go back and say, “I see what happened. I created this issue, distancing and angst between us. All I wanted to do was to place that on the other person.”

Did that happen because of your knowledge of alchemy? Were you able to separate from real life and say, “Now, I’m going?” That’s the part I’m most interested in. Let’s go through that one more time. Tell me the steps as you take me through the process of identifying the problem, correlating it to the alchemical step, moving to solve it, and going to the next step after that.

When I came to the realization of what the impact of my choices was, that’s when I took a deep look and started the process. I looked at the behavior and what was behind the behavior, which in this case was the thing I was trying to avoid, which was the fear of scarcity. What I had done is I had caused the thing that I was trying to avoid, which is typical and can be typical in human behavior. I applied it right away.

I didn’t want to do it because I don’t like to take a deep look at myself. Now I’m familiar with and have fun with it, but then it’s like, “This is tough.” I took a look. I saw what I did and said, “I need to take that belief system and let it go.” I burned all the things around it that it was telling me I didn’t have what I needed and I was going to be in lack.

Take that belief system and let it go. Share on X

Once I did that, I moved to the next step. I realized the cost of that behavior. I started tying back to other things in my life. This has shown up in all these places, and it’s caused all these impacts. There was some grieving involved. That’s the water stage of all the costs that took me. At that point, I realized, “Where are the parts of it? What’s left?”

What’s left was my shadow side, that part of a belief that I wasn’t conscious of, and there’s the gold side. There’s the part of my own brilliance, not in an egotistical way, but the part of me that knows. I can bring those two things together and realize, “I’m always going to have this part of myself that’s in this dark that I’m going to have to work with, and that’s okay. That’s a part of me, as is the brilliant, the knowing part.”

There is always going to be this part of ourselves that's in the shadow, in the dark, that you’re going to have to work with and that's okay. Share on X

Let me ask you a question because I’m enjoying this. You understand you’ve studied alchemy, you have a framework, and the s*** hits the fan in life. You now say to yourself, “Let’s take a look at how alchemy would view what I’m going through.” By being external to the problem, in a sense, treating life symbolically instead of literally, alchemy helps you solve the problem with advanced information, knowing it can be solved because you have the tools to do it.

The end result of all that work was the earth stage, being the sovereign and having the vision. I’m realizing, “I need some support now.” I can see that. That’s when I turned to a business partner and said, “From now on, I’m going to bounce these things by and get that additional piece of feedback to make sure that I am not acting from this place.” That’s how the alchemical process blossoms into what’s called the distillation, which is the constant circulation of these things. I’m constantly running things by my partner on these types of things. That’s how that one piece resolved. Most of the pieces work in that way. There are lots of them.

I hope you’re enjoying this conversation that I’m having with John Hernandez. John, what it sounds to me like, and I’m going to simplify if I may, there’s a learning process that shows you a simple system that will help you navigate life. The system is simple, but there are details. The better you understand the details, it sounds to me like the better you can anticipate how life works in your world. I’m vastly simplifying the process, but it’s an intricate set of rules. What do I do if I don’t have time to learn this entire process? I need some help with alchemy. What would you suggest? How did you do it when you found that you needed some help?

There’s a piece that I want to bring into this that you mentioned. The whole crux of this work is applying it to everyday life. Sometimes, alchemy gets a stigma of intense, complicated philosophy. It’s esoteric and great if you lived a thousand years ago. I’m a huge proponent of applying these to everyday life. That’s where the rubber meets the road. How did I learn alchemy? There are two parts to that answer to that.

The whole crux of Alchemy is applying it to everyday life. Share on X

If you’re looking to learn the history and all the pieces that go into it, there’s the Alchemy Study course from the International Alchemy Guild. That’s specifically designed for alchemy. It doesn’t apply that much to life. It’s the learning of the process. You can ask. There is a mentoring program for that, where you can bring me on as a mentor. We go a little farther afield to other pieces that relate to Alchemy but are still in that realm.

You want to take a deep dive as a team member in your business and apply it specifically to your life because Alchemy is not about business. It handles everything, relationships, personal relationships, and community relationships. It encompasses all of that and applies it to business leadership. I have a specific set of coaching that’s designed for that. It’s taking those modalities but applying them to your specific needs.

Let me take a step back here and mention to everyone who’s reading. John and I met on a trip to Egypt. He and I became friends and started working together for my better understanding of Alchemy and the alchemical process. When I read the book The Idiot’s Guide to Alchemy, I didn’t feel like I got it at the end of the book. I thought that working with John brought it into the third dimension for me. It crystallized the entire concept. As we worked together, I now can see how and begin to apply it in life.

I want to let people know that this is a rich tradition. If you’re looking for a quick fix or something like that, it’s not for you. On the other hand, if you’re fascinated by history and you love the stories of how Alchemy has transformed the world and, in many ways, brought us to where we are together, this is going to be a journey that I believe would be fun to go on.

John, you mentioned the Alchemy Guild. I went there. It’s an interesting website. There are a number of topics with videos, but it is for the core study of Alchemy. You run a coaching institute. I believe the website is Tell us a little bit about that and the work that you’re doing. We’re going to now move into a discussion about your tribe because this is the Tribe Builders.

You made a great point, which it’s not a quick fix. I don’t know of anything that’s legitimate, but Alchemy is called the great work, not the great shortcut. It’s an ongoing work. It’s like, “I’m done. I did this one piece. I got it. It’s not no like, “Oh gosh.” It’s endless. There can be fun and passion with this. There’s a lot to do, and it’s all work. I will give you a piece of gold at the end. Alchemy Coaching Institute, I started based on working with some other CEOs and some other folks who wanted more specific applications to what they were doing as far as working with team members and collaboration spaces.

Alchemy is actually called the great work, not the great shortcut, because it's an ongoing work. Share on X

It all always comes down to them, not to techniques that I can give them to work all the way we do that. This is why I mentioned the team earlier because it’s critical. There are a lot of high-quality coaches out there. A lot of them have good, specific guidelines for doing pieces. Where I come in strong is what happens between you and those pieces you’re given by the coach. That’s where I can bridge that gap. That’s what I’ve done with the folks I’ve worked with. It’s a team. It’s not there’s a one coach fits all. There are several of us that can complement your team. That’s how I look at it with the Alchemy Coaching Institute.

What I love about what you’re doing is that you are training coaches to bring alchemy to the world, and you’re working individually with people who are interested in alchemy from two different perspectives. One is to learn it, and the second perspective is to apply it. The third thing that I understand that you and your coaches do is you can solve problems by consulting people using the alchemical process.

You don’t have to learn or study alchemy. Instead, what you can do is you could help someone through an issue and apply alchemy along the way. Once they get a feel for what you’re doing, most people get more interested and want to learn more and do more. I do like that about the work that you’re doing. Talk a little bit about some of the articles you have posted on the site. Who are those for, and what is the purpose of doing that?

I’ve written a series of blogs on my site. They’re for everyone. They’re focused a little bit more on what I do on the business side for the alchemy coaching. The word leader is an interesting one. The leader is the sovereign piece. I mentioned the king and the queen archetype. It’s accessing that part of us that is the knower that is connected with that, the visionary, the one that makes the difficult choices. It applies to every part of our life. If you look at what I wrote on my blogs, you can apply that again to relationships and everything.

I write these as they come to me as different parts of the work. I wrote a blog on this time of the year, autumn. It’s about celebrating the darkness. Why would we do that as an example? This is a time of year when a lot of folks in the Northern Hemisphere go into a bit of a depression because the days are shorter. It’s darker, especially the farther North you live until you get adjusted to it. It’s like, “I don’t like this. I’m a springtime person. I love the light coming back up.” It is great, but a lot of this work is done in the darkness.

It’s not all about depression, darkness, and a lot of working with shadow, which is part of it, but there’s a celebration of gestation because this is where seeds grow. They grow in the dark. That’s where the seeds of creation begin. There’s a lot of great work to be done at this time of year. That is something I wrote about as an example.

I came back from Italy. How can I apply the sheer beauty of the art, the passion, and the emotions that invoked in me to recalibrate my life, leadership, and coaching practice? These are the things I get the inspiration for. I’ll write about them. There are several things on there that run across various different modalities. They’re all related to alchemy.

Let’s talk a little bit more about the tribe because I know that there are a number of people who you work with. How do you work with the people in your group? Do you have a monthly call? Do you gather people to do a little talk and a Q&A? Describe to us how you work with the folks who are part of your world and studying alchemy with you.

If we’re doing the actual alchemical work and learning alchemy, there’s a certain cadence to it that I like to keep, which is every week or every other week. I don’t like to go longer than that because the work fades away, and contextually, it doesn’t fit. In the coaching practice, it’s similar to that. I like to do it every week or every other week.

I’ve got some folks that are on a monthly basis because they’ve worked with me for a longer time. They want to dive deeper. Some have completely let go of the reins and said, “A lot of times, I’ll invite whomever I’m coaching. What do you need now?” They’re saying, “I don’t know what I need. Give me something, and we’ll go with it.” We’re doing that.

It’s tailored to the specific needs of the client. It’s not all heavy-duty philosophy. There’s a lot of fun and engagement to it again. Each time, there’ll be a skillset to use in your life, whether it’s personal relationships, leadership, personal growth, or something to get you through yourself. That’s a critical piece of alchemy.

The other thing that you didn’t mention, which I happen to know you do, is you do international trips, and you invite your students along. They could pay their way, travel with you, and get all of these lessons in the places where they were created, like Ancient Egypt. I was with you in Egypt. I was not aware of alchemy when we met. Here I was in Egypt. You are relating all of these amazing places to the study of alchemy. Some of what we talked about was found in the spots where we were standing. Tell me more about that. Tell the audience a little bit about your trip to Egypt and where we were.

I’ve been making it an intention for over a decade to visit a lot of the sites where Alchemy grew up and where Alchemy was practiced. Everything from the oldest versions we know of in Egypt to the Middle Ages and Renaissance spots. I’ve been all over the world and visited all these places, including primal places and pre-Egyptian in Botswana, South Africa, and places where man was first coming into the world. Some of these early pieces started to form.

I’ve made it a point to go there. Egypt is pretty much the birth birthplace of modern Western alchemy. Without going into a long piece, there is the Eastern version. Most folks have heard of yoga, Qigong, or Tai Chi. Those are forms of Eastern yoga. They grew up simultaneous with Eastern alchemy. There are a ton of similarities. You’ll learn all that if that’s part of the coaching that you want, but it’s interesting.

Going to these places unveils more of what the legacy of this work is. When we were in Egypt, we went to some of the earliest known written places where Alchemy shows up. One of them was in the Pyramid of Unas, which a lot of folks don’t go to. It’s in the Saqqara Plateau, where a lot of people know the step pyramid. It’s a bit off out of the way.

When I went there the first time, there was no path. There was only dirt, and it was closed off. This time, it was open for a few of us to go into. We got to see the original pyramid texts on the wall. Without going into a long history, there are a lot of alchemical pieces written on that wall. There’s a lot of alchemy with the types of material they used because alchemy was started and flourished in ancient Egypt. It exploded in Alexandria, Egypt. All the while, there was a spiritual, psychological, and physical component to it the whole time.

What’s interesting is that when you travel with someone like you, as I have, there is a dimension that the average traveler would never perceive. The fact that you are able to show that to everybody on the trip, I found that incredibly fascinating. I love the fact that it was obvious once you pointed it out. It’s a peak behind the veil. It was interesting, and I hope you don’t mind me bringing this up, but unfortunately, your wife was injured on the trip. It was an alchemical connection. Describe what happened and how that connection played a role in what happened with your wife.

My wife was accidentally knocked down in one of the temples and broke a wrist badly. We had a guardian angel on the trip. His name is Hatim. He paved the way for us. We were out in the middle of nowhere. This particular place where we were was the farthest away from many known major metropolitan areas.

He stepped in there. This is a classic example of someone being completely in service. That’s one of the byproducts of alchemy. How can I give back? What can I do with this technology once I have it? He is a prime example. I owe him a ton. I wrote to him to remind him of what a great human being he was and what a selfless person to do what he did. I won’t go into a long story there, but that wouldn’t have even happened here in San Francisco, that level of attention.

It was amazing to watch. It was a beautiful demonstration. It was sad because Martha was injured, but she was a trooper. She went on the rest of the trip. She kept going, which I thought was great. Thank you for everything you’ve shared. I know that there are going to be a lot of people who are interested in wanting more after this discussion. Where should they go if they would like to find out more about what you’re doing, want to work with an alchemist, or go further and train as an alchemist? Where should they start?

The easiest thing is to get ahold of me on the Alchemy Coaching Institute website. For the International Alchemy Guild, there’s a home study page for that. There are two ways to get ahold of me. Alchemy Coaching Institute will go directly to me. Those would be the two easiest ways to do it. From there, I can answer the questions. You’re going to talk about an offer here.

I understand and correct me if I’m wrong. What you have offered is a free introductory call, twenty minutes or so, to anybody who’s interested in chatting with you, with no obligation, a little bit about the institute, the work you’re doing, and some more of the finer points of alchemy itself. That’s a great offer. Readers, this is a free call. I highly recommend that you take advantage of that. You can set up that call by going to Before we end our interview, John, is there anything else you want to say to folks reading about Alchemy or maybe what their first steps should be at this point?

You’ll know what the first steps would be. This is one of the beauties of alchemy. There’s a call. You’ll know if you have an interest level. This is not about a sales pitch or how I can increase your productivity by 80%. There is nothing wrong with all that, but this is about you. You drive the bus. I’m going to give you the tools for your tool belt that you need, but the work is on you. I’m here as a guide and mentor. That’s the bottom line with Alchemy. That’s how I learned. I got all this information, but until I applied it, and continued to apply it and learn. Every day, I learn something new about myself that I didn’t know.

TTB John Hernandez | Alchemy
Alchemy: You drive the bus. I’m going to give you the tools that you need but the work is on you. I’m here as a guide and as a mentor. That’s really the bottom line with Alchemy.


Shouldn’t I know this by now? Time is a mystery. The time is whenever the time is. In other words, you’ll know if this is a fit for you. Either you’ll call me and find out or say, “This is not for me.” That’s fine. There’s no attachment there. It’s all about what works for you. I’ll leave you with that. There is a metaphor for finding gold in all this.

I’ll go back to an Egyptian analogy. They put a lot of gold on their statues because that’s the flesh of the gods. As we do the alchemical work and we find our gold truly find it. That’s one of the pieces that we work on. It’s the flesh of the gods. It’s the connection to the divine. It’s all those things. All that has served me and will serve you in your life. That’s where the rubber meets the road.

John, I’ve certainly enjoyed working with you over the several last several months. I’ve gotten a lot out of our time together. I’m already seeing alchemy have an impact on my life. Readers, I encourage you to check it out and see what John’s doing. It’s exciting stuff. John, thanks again for being with us. I enjoyed our conversation. I look forward to chatting with you again soon.

Thanks, Mitch. You be well.

You, too.

Take care, everyone.


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