Wild Alchemy Journal #2

Wild Alchemy Lab is a new transdisciplinary platform from experimental botanical studio Mama Xanadu: a vehicle in which to navigate our fractured relationship with nature and the cosmos through both a scientific and esoteric lens. We take up the macro-microcosmic vision of the Hermetic axiom ‘as above, so below’ - all aspects of universal phenomena correspond and relate to one another. This places our work at the intersection of plants, planets and people.

Alchemy is the arcane art of transformation, the physical and psycho-spiritual practice of elevating the base elements of our experience to a noble state. Central to alchemical philosophy is the death process: death begets life. To evolve beyond crisis, outdated systems and thought forms are dissolved to be reconstituted into a new, more valued way of being. Through an act of collaboration and co-creation, with nature as our guide and medium, we explore ways to distil our experience and transform its vital force into an embodied sensory ecology.

This is our FIRE edition, the second in our series navigating the elements. Ignited by the transformational power of the mythical Phoenix, we’ve collected over 40 contributions of art, text, sound and smell across 72 pages and five continents from artists and academics, musicians and makers, scientists and researchers, therapists and occult practitioners, wildlings and writers.

Featuring contributors from our first EARTH edition, such as explosive artist Aoife van Linden Tol’s reimagining of the Big Bang and astrobiologist Marina Barcenilla’s olfactory Mars, our collective has expanded with new additions including plant-based compilation Huito by Imka, love spells by Semra Haksever and a cut-out set of Fire Oracle cards by Kiki & The Cosmic Egg.

Wild Alchemy Journal is about immersive experience: the multi-sensory, the fully-embodied, the contextualised, and the informed. That’s why we take the time to consider every aspect of our journal—from the texture of the paper, to the richness of the ink, to the scent we spray onto the pages of each journal.


We ignite our path with an explosive revision of the big bang, burning through the heliosphere. Hearts racing, as we trace the path of Osiris and bear witness to Prometheus stealing the fire from the gods at Olympus. The sun kisses the moon as we chase our tails riding dragons across night skies and as Martians we take up our iron swords, the scent of pepper and smoke filling our lungs as the god of war drives us forward into a battle that need not be fought as we experience our trans-species origins in the huito fruit. Our inky past tracing its tributaries across our flesh and the taste of a golden apple sets our wings alight as we dance as the Firebird with the sorcerer Koschei until we are liberated from form.

In the crucible of our desires, the serpent rises, pouring forth the immortal elixir, distilling our illusions until we experience the light of the truth through tantric practice. We fan the flames of the female orgasm, incant love spells and become apprentices to the oracles of fire, stepping into the fire of purification and dancing with our inner pyromancy into the magma of our personal power, creating new lands.

From the ashes, we transform through the womb of creation as survivors and reclaim our sovereignty and power from those that have raged against us. The heat from our hands gives us power to cast life from clay into the kiln, drinking fire medicine from its urn, lighting the digestive fire within and tasting the acrid, pungent nature of its flames on our tongues. Once again, we trace the path of the sun, honour the flame and embody our regenerative potential. Like wildfire, our will and desires for justice and virtue propel us towards an eruption and we are immersed in the soundscape of protest, the chants of our comrades exploding in our ears, a moment of chaos until our vision clears and we see the true nature of things.

We place our hands on the warmth of the earth and look towards our future as warriors and lovers and co-creators, to effectively employ our actions and desires to protect and serve our planet. We rise, like the tulip, to face the sun for a new day.