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Paracelsus Research Society

Todd Powelson
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“When a man undertakes to create something,” wrote Paracelsus, “he establishes a new heaven, as it were, and from it the work that he desires to create flows into him.”

Alchemy is an old science, a forerunner of chemistry, best known as a quest to turn any metal into gold. It didn’t start out that way, but it is now known as an occult science.

To be honest, I’ve spent quite a lot of time reading about alchemy, and I don’t know much about it other than that it kind of makes my skin crawl and bores me at the same time. I think they speak in a code language, kind of like Slytherin, but they don’t say it’s a code language. You only know it is one because you immediately start thinking about what’s for lunch or where did you put your yellow socks, while feeling a little dirtier than you normally would while thinking of lunch or socks.

In the 1930s to the 1960s, Salt Lake City was home to a great school of alchemy. According to researcher Richelle Hawks, the Paracelsus Research Society, was a fully functioning school, with classes lasting from a few weeks to up to seven years. The school was advertised via pamphlets, and looked a lot like a bail bondsman’s office.

The building is still here in the heart of the homeland today. I don’t have the exact address, but it was somewhere near 3300 S and 700 E. It is utterly, boringly ordinary and brownish.

Do you ever find yourself MORE curious and confused by things that just blend in? When walking past your neighbors homes, do you think about everything that happens within those walls that goes unspoken in the outside world? Dreams born and dashed within its walls? Blood spilled? Religious awakenings? Birth? Old souls slipping away in the night?

I do. I sometimes think every home and every building is a temple of alchemy, or worship or rebirth or – worst –  a home to agonizingly, slow suicide. The Paracelsus Research Institute is a great example. I bet you’ve seen it a million times without seeing it. Within these walls, a significant part of the U.S. occult practices of the 20th century spattered forth out of a magik practitioner’s body in that home – and it died inside a manure oven despite being painstakingly fed human blood with great science and care.

This post goes out to Carrie de Azevedo Poulsen for introducing us to the Paracelsus Research Society. Happy Halloween!

Todd Powelson
Todd Powelson works as a Graphic Designer, Illustrator, and Visual Artist.

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