Jeannie Radcliffe

In 1972 Jeannie began the formal study of psychological astrology. In 1977, she was introduced to the work of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky, via Sheik Abdullah Douggan and his wife Rose. The techniques and ideas relating to the 'Alchemy of the Heart', inner work and theories of conscious evolution she learned were to stand her in good stead from that time on.

In 1981 she emigrated to Australia and worked in women’s refuges studying cutting edge psychological techniques, working also as Co-ordinator of the Women's Art Movement in Adelaide. During this period she had her first exhibition and published a book of prose, 'Dark Moon'. Jeannie, through her work in organising exhibitions came into contact with various members of different indigenous communities of South Australia and proved a real turning point in her understanding of a totally different type of spirituality. This period culminated upon meeting a student of Frater Albertus Spagyricus. After her earlier experiences of Inner Alchemy, Jeannie recognised this was the next stage of her life journey.

The Paracelsus College in Melbourne was undergoing a dramatic change after the death of Frater Albertus and the closure of the College in the U.S. Fortunately Albertus had put the necessary structures in place for the continuation of the Oral Tradition in Australia and the classes continued to be held. It was a period of historic change and there was a great air of optimism amongst those students who were part of the system to carry on the work. Thus the College in Australia continued with Soror Emmys' blessing under the guidance of Greg Sneddon.

Jeannie participated in the building of the laboratory along with the construction of teaching facilities at the new premises and attended every available class. Jeannie was extremely fortunate to be one of the managers of the student house where she met students from numerous places. This period enabled her to do experimental work on spagyric herbal preparations, acetate works and making various coloured glasses of antimony and subsequent tinctures of these and other metals and minerals.

Over the next few years she was continuously involved in every aspect of College life. This included serving on the Management Committee, co-editing the Paracelsus College Journal, working on the Monthly Newsletter, managing the laboratory and library as well as doing every possible class and assisting the teachers. The library and the laboratory and the weekend workshops with more experienced students willing to share their knowledge are a treasured experience.

During this time she continued her interest in the Gurdjieff Work but her participation in the Gurdjieff Movements practiced with the live music of de Hartmann remains a high point of her experience of those various groups.

In 1986 after being an assistant teacher she was invited to join a teacher training program and in 1987 was asked by Greg to teach her first Prima Class. Over the next few years she taught classes in different areas of Australia, often in out of the way places with minimal equipment. Jeannie also completed a number of classes in the mineral work at the Hermes School of Philosophy.

In 1989 Greg dissolved the management committee of the Paracelsus College, this concurrently with a lack of space meant the College had to find a new location for the classes. This proved easier said than done and the teachers began to hold the classes in their homes, this proved so successful, it was decided to forgo the continual expense of maintaining a permanent structure. In March 1990, Greg resigned his position and passed the reponsibility for the future of the Paracelsus College to Jeannie, whom he formally made the Administrator.

The focus of the college shifted to Sydney after Jeannie moved there in 1991 where she was later joined by Rik Danenberg. In the following years, they evolved a system of teaching whereby the male and female energies were combined in a unique alchemical understanding and practice. Many classes were taught in Northern New South Wales and southern Queensland where the teachings were disseminated through an informal structure in the oral tradition. Classes were generated entirely through word of mouth, the teachers appearing and disappearing as required. During this time Jeannie did a number of Vipassana retreats including a Satipatthana.

After living nomadically for four years, teaching classes, collecting minerals, manuscripts and experiences while examining numerous cultural paradigms. It became obvious during this time the energy current had changed. A decision was made to find somewhere more permanent to hold classes. Adelaide was chosen as the best position and the essentials were recombined in 1995. After suitable premises were found in 1996, the classes recommenced in 1997 and continued in Adelaide until 2005. During this time she graduated from the University of Adelaide, majoring in Anthropology

Since the advent of the Internet in the 1990's the life of the College and Alchemy have undergone major changes due to how information is disseminated. The first time Jeannie did a search for alchemy, she found two sites; Adam McLean’s Alchemy website and musical software sites. Spagyrics didn't rate a single hit. It is now possible to connect with people who have an interest in alchemy and spagyrics all over the world without leaving home. There is still however no substitute for the Oral Tradition.

Jeannie sees her work within the Grand Opus of Alchemy as evolving the curriculum of the Paracelsus College with it's emphasis on the conscious evolution of an individual within the framework of a practical alchemical system that explores what it means to be a Human Being amidst the complexity of a 21st century technological society.

In 2006, the College moved to the historic gold mining town of Bendigo where regular classes continue.