Alchemical Garden Forum

Please visit Entering the Garden and discover what are our sustaining roots. You may only apply with us if you agree and consent to our Community Vision and Purpose and Ethos and Ethical Guidelines.

The registration includes writing a letter of application in which you sincerely tell us why you wish to join.

Curating Content

Well cared content is easy to digest and it preserves good value because it offers timeless insights.

Curating Content

This under construction page will contain simple suggestions how to make quality contributions in the Academia forum stem which you can visit here:


Articles and articulate discussion about beneficial spiritual practice.

These instructions are mostly meant for Practitioners who have elevated user priviliges to tag content, for example. We also encourage Students to write clearly and well.

A quote from our Community Vision and Purpose:

It bears emphasizing for Academia contributions that we expect at least a fairly good standard of writing that serves both clear communication and grammatical correctness.

What is Curated Content?

cu·rate (kyo͝or′āt′) tr.v.
  1. To organize and oversee (an art exhibit or film festival, for example).
  2. To gather and present to the public: a blog that curates news stories.

Simply put: Curated content is something that you would gladly read again and share with others.

Why to Curate Content?

Well cared content is easy to digest and it preserves good value because it offers timeless insights.

How to Curate Content?

Curating content has two separate but related aspects: (a) applying good quality standards when writing the content and (b) classifying or categorizing it.

Good quality writing standards are mostly self-evident:

  • the text is clear and unambiguous in its meaning
  • the style is clean and simple
  • the readers are addressed with fitting friendliness and respect
  • logical arguments check with facts or at least falsifiable
  • any opinions are clearly marked as such and presented with either intuitive feeling and rational reason when they are needed
  • all utilized sources are referenced appropriately

The classification is very similar to metadata management in archival or library keeping purposes. We hope that everyone can see the wisdom of keeping written and contributed material easily searched and accessible to all: This is why we have invested into designing a smart system that also allows discerning between content presentation and interaction types besides the usual content topics tagging.

Instructions: Metadata

Board Structure

This forum has stems (forum categories), branches (subforums), and roots (pages). These lend to the idea that stems are the supporting structure, branches their extensions, and roots are the nourishing foundation upon which the Alchemical Garden forum was built on in the first place.

Formal inner practices and their applications have designated public discussion areas:

  • School stem and its branches
  • two application oriented Academia branches:
    • Esoteric and Arcane Methodology
    • Herbalism and Naturopathy

If you post such content elsewhere, then it's likely to get either removed or relocated.

Custom Thread Fields

Custom thread fields are this forum's way of emphasizing some tricky aspects about internal training. You can think of them as warning labels.

The custom thread fields have been enabled on Herbalism and Naturopathy, Esoteric and Arcana Methodology, and Ask About Good Practice branches. Why these branches only? First of all, these are directly practice or application oriented branches. Others like Monastic Traditions, Wisdom and Ethics, What Went Wrong?, and Textual Study have so strong self-identifying and self-correcting flavors that they leave little to no room for doubt what are the premises and precautions.

Here is a list of all the current custom thread field attributions. Only moderators can change these after the thread has been created.

Energetic conflict(s)

Required. This is for declaring if there is, or may be by the nature of the topic, something in the discussion that could lead to energetic distress if applied carelessly.

Description: Are you speculating about how practices work together, or are you innovating new? Are you referring to valid practice that is known to require extra carefulness?

  • None. Only usual carefulness is asked.
  • Warning. Extra attention and care with correct instructions are needed.
  • Danger. Speculative innovation and mixing practices often lead to subtly deviated methods that injure health.


Optional. Please choose three (3) items at most.

Description: Which of these precautions apply? Please select three (3) at most according to the topics and in anticipation of the discussion that may follow.

  • Magic & Esoteric Arts (sacred initiations and occult knowledge should be treated with healthy respect)
  • Divination (remembering free will when making choices — future is not set in stone)
  • Forging ahead with Enthusiasm (ambitious and competitive spirit creates agitation)
  • Forceful Approach (manipulating energy and seeking intense experiences commonly lead to harm)
  • Advanced (beginners would not benefit from trying to sidestep laying the correct foundation)
  • Emotional Balance (training can become risky if one's heart is not calm)
  • Bottling Up (striving for peace and stillness through suppression or tension is self-deception)
  • Teacher Needed (learning is too difficult without teacher's detailed assistance or supervision)
  • The Great Work (internal arts are difficult and life's challenge's range from temptations to harmless diversions, but it's important to persist in everything correct)
  • Hold on to Your Wallet (scam or abuse alert: the teacher and the teachings are suspect)

Discussion premise


Description: I wish this discussion to be held from the point of view...

  • Buddhist
  • Confucian
  • Daoist
  • Hermetic
  • Comparative study (e.g. formal cultivation methods across different traditions, generic Qigong training principles, folk traditions, etc.)
  • Universal Wisdom (including the common sense of relative wisdom)

Readers are also reminded with this: — Please try to uphold this point of view so that the discussion always returns to it.

Thread Prefixes

Thread prefixes are mandatory for indicating what type of interaction or which communication format you put forth. Take your time to figure out what different prefixes are available: it changes based on your user privilege and forum branch.

  • Article prefixes
    • interview — Choose this prefix when publishing an interview article of someone relevant or when preparing the groundwork for such.
    • group studyGroup study is the default prefix for many purposes because that is how people communicate naturally.
    • essay — Choose this prefix when you write an essay that is either a complete and self-contained matter to say or an invitation for any type of verbal playfulness.
    • instructions — All articles giving authoritative instructions and recipes, and sharing set procedures (steps 1, 2, 3, ...) in detail should use this prefix.
  • Art prefixes
    • review — When publishing reviews of any type, please use this prefix.
    • creativity — Please use the creativity prefix to indicate creative engagements, social discussions, and non-sensical fun.
  • Management prefixes
    • newsNews prefix is for communicating about timely affairs.
    • announcementsAnnouncements prefix is meant for persistent and evergreen articles that have to do with forum policies.
  • Student prefixes
    • feedback — Choose this prefix either a) to ask for public feedback on your presentation or b) to give constructive feedback to someone or some group, whether positive or negative. Non-constructive initiatives are unlikely to garner attention and even less support.
    • request — Use this prefix when you want to request for something practical, whether it's relating to teaching, tutoring, or technical assistance in using this forum.
    • journal — This prefix is mandatory when you start journaling or logging your practice on this discussion forum.
    • question — Use this prefix to ask questions. Please consider first how clearly you are presenting your concern: Too vague and and too self-serving questions may hinder getting meaningful answers.
  • Translations
    • Each prefix in this category indicates some particular non-English language.

Tagging Content (Keywords)

There is a pre-selected set of 50+ tags that describe discussion subject matters. You can see them here:

Tags are optional, but we hope that you make the effort to find the right keywords that describe the actually discussed content first and foremost; it's not encouraged to go out for any meta-level connections and theoretical underpinnings for tagging purposes unless these are really intimately and specifically related to the topic. There is a fixed upper limit of five (5) tags so often less is more.

Everyone can tag their own threads.

  • Forum in general:
    • alchemical garden
    • event
    • promotion
  • Esoterica:
    • astrology
    • divination
    • esoteric traditions
    • feng shui
    • heaven and earth (hieros gamos)
    • hermeticism
    • i ching
    • magic
    • tarot
  • Buddhism:
    • awareness (emptiness)
    • buddhism
    • insight meditation
    • tantra
    • tantric medicine and chulen
    • mantra
  • Art & activities:
    • calligraphy
    • dance and theater
    • drawing and painting
    • gardening
    • handicraft
    • holistic activities
    • literary arts
    • music
    • photography
    • video and film
  • Chinese traditions:
    • confucianism
    • daoism
    • daoist alchemy (waidan)
    • inner alchemy (neidan)
    • neigong (yijin jing)
    • qigong and calmness meditation
  • Humanity:
    • ego and emotions
    • ethics and virtues
    • fun
    • martial arts
    • people and society
    • scam and abuse
  • Energetics:
    • energy sickness
    • folk medicine
    • healing injury
    • weird experiences
    • inner power and energy
  • Spirituality:
    • organized religion
    • sacred texts
    • supernatural
    • shamanism
    • wisdom and discernment
    • world faiths

Article Thread Type or Discussion Thread Type?

When to choose the article thread format? Whenever you are absolutely certain that the first post content will be a complete stand-alone piece. It will stay on the top of every subsequent page of the thread. What Went Wrong? and International Translations are articles-only forums, which gives them a special grid layout which displays the first attached image in the article preview.

If you make an article thread, then please add a fitting picture to it so that it looks good on the preview. Choosing public domain pictures saves the hassle of attributing the source. Don't post pictures of unclear copyright status! 600 pixels usually is a good image maximum width, but you can adjust it to be even smaller when you click the image in the editing mode. Take note that it might take a bit figuring out how to make the picture mesh well with the text. If you wish to have the text flow closely around the image, then it must be set to align to either left or right side by clicking on it and selecting the appropriate menu option.

Instructions: The Content Itself

Before posting a new thread you could first look around if there has been similar discussion that either covers your inquiry or could be reasonably continued from where it was left earlier.

It generally is better to assume less than more for the sake of discussion. Furthermore, it cultivates humility to presume less of your own skills. It also is polite and grounding to make no presumptions about what you don't know through personal contact and direct experience.

Please don't use text emoticons or emojis, meme images, or other trite writing conventions. Officially we only support thumbs up (y) and thumbs down (n) emojis because these are meaningful gestures.

During writing your message, please use the preview button to inspect that you have formatted everything alright.

Formatting links with text description makes reading and accessing relevant material easier. The referred and linked sources should be checked for who is saying and what, so that the original publication and trustworthy sites are preferentially brought up.

Grammatical correctness and good writing style can be learned and provides many benefits. A well-written article is a special joy that glimpses clarity like a well lit room. One place to study articulate written English language is the Chicago Manual of Style which is recommended as an invaluable reference for thoughtful language.

Instructions: Carrying on with Discussion

Please visit our School Etiquette to gain insight about what type of discussion style we wish to uphold:

  School Etiquette

Good discussion refines us human beings, and therefore we strive to be mindful what is good and what bad for communication.

Long story short: be self-aware and clear, not self-conscious and dull.

Avoid Double Posting

  • Posting twice in row is often unnecessary for the communication. Posts can be modified and ordinary users have ample edit time to get everything right.
  • Our forum messages are quite similar to letters. They are not the awkwardly edited social media prompts that impose limitations on their length and style.
  • If there is less than 30 minutes since your last post, your matter is brief, and no one has yet responded, then it's highly recommended that you edit your latest message and add to it.
  • PS. Use postcript or something similar to indicate that you added an afterthought to make it look thoughtful.

Reminder about Lurking

If we give extra privileges that denote committed practice and community acknowledgement, then it's entirely reasonable to ask that this must not remain entirely one-sided tribute.

We encourage engagement here, and while we aren't breathing down to anyone's neck and scream to the ear that "Participate harder and keep looking happier!", we prefer at least some presence rather than lurking.

Some may not know what to ask or want to take a passive approach, but in the spirit of joining this community and reading what is available freely, one doesn't need an account to read what's here, but one does need an account to participate—so if you're not participating, it may be time to reconsider what you're doing here.

If this place is missing something—talk to us! This place is a work in progress and it grows based off of the community's participation. If you don't speak up, you won't see the place be impacted by your presence.

On the flip side, don't try to make your presence known, as this is trying too hard. Rather, whatever you give, know that if done in the spirit of learning and community, it will be enough to make your absence felt.