29. The Alchemy of the Peacock

Alchemy was the forerunner to modern day Chemistry; a mysterious and seemingly magical practice where base metals were transformed into gold.

This sketch depicts the alchemy, the transformation, of arrows of negative thoughts and feelings, into the flowers of understanding and peace. 

How is this accomplished? 

By carefully observing our negative thoughts and feelings through the lens of mindfulness: Observation – Acceptance – Compassion.

Once you observe your own emotions, your next challenge is to accept them. You do not feed them, identify with them, or fan their flames. You simply acknowledge their appearance: “I see that anger is happening”, rather than, “I am angry”. 

Next you apply compassion as you seek to understand why that negative emotion has appeared. 

Be curious about your feelings.

Be compassionate towards yourself. 

See if you can create a flower from an arrow.

The myth of the Peacock’s Tail tells us that beauty can be created from poison.

In this origin myth, the peacock starts off as a drab, ordinary bird, going about its business hunting for food and shelter. One day, it encounters a lair of many deadly snakes. But, just before the snakes rise up to strike and kill the peacock, they are quickly gobbled down by the bird. In this way, the peacock avoids venomous bites and instead ingests the snakes, poison and all. Low and behold, as the peacock digests the poison, it begins to shake and tremble in it’s efforts to cope with the dangerous substances and when this process has finished, it’s dull feathers have been transformed into glorious iridescent plumage and the bird is healthier and more robust and beautiful than ever before. This is the peacock we know today.

Catherine Larkin, LMHC

In this way, our troubles can lead to growth, strength and deep understanding and even peace.

One thought on “29. The Alchemy of the Peacock

  1. What a beautiful sketch and commentary and how we can transform our suffering into a victorious beauty and radiance, the alchemical process. The myth of the peacock was a delight to read.


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