Several definitions of alchemy exist. Originally, alchemy was an ancient tradition of sacred chemistry used to discern the spiritual and temporal nature of reality, its structure, laws, and functions. Alchemy is often considered a predecessor to the modern science of chemistry.
The word alchemy comes from the Arabic word al-kimia. Alchemy is a philosophy and practice which has sought means of transmuting one element into another (e.g., base metals into gold), an elixir of life or longevity, and the preparation of substances with unusual or unique properties. Alchemy involves a quest for knowledge and wisdom.