Peter Archer - the modern-day alchemist, in the footsteps of Dr Edward Bach.

A Modern Day Alchemist

Part One

“Alchemy?  What?  Modern-day alchemist?
 What is this about?  Who is this Peter Archer guy?”

“I suppose it all began with my discovery of the book. It was sometime in May 1992.  Late autumn, here in New Zealand, and I was living in Nelson, just before moving to Wellington, right on the cusp of that huge change in my life, the “new beginning”.

Peter posing for his C.V. photo in May 1992. I had been planning this big change for months, and the time was fast approaching for the move. I had written my C.V., and sent it to all of the appropriate employment agencies, complete with photograph on page one, I had almost finished winding up my affairs in Nelson, the closing down of the computer sales business, saying goodbye to the old customers, and so on.

Mary's little book, just as it was that day in May 1992. So, here I was, on a gray day in May, browsing on the herbalism shelf at the local public library, looking for books that would add to my knowledge of medical herbalism, which was my latest “big discovery”, and there it was, on the shelf, right amongst all those books on the medicinal use of herbs, a slim little paperback volume. I picked it up, and flipped through the pages.

Mary, as she appeared on the back cover of the book. “A New Perception: Flower Essences of New Zealand”, only 160-odd pages, with a small photograph of the author on the back cover. Mary Garbely. Copyright 1990, published by the “New Zealand Flower Essence Co-operative Charitable Trust”. Hmmm. Who are they, I wonder? And, who is Mary Garbely?

Montbretia. I flip through the pages. There are some photographs of some flowers. Montbretia, Puriri, Kowhai, Rata, a few more. A chapter on “Vibrations in New Zealand” which looks interesting, and at the front,
Kowhai. a three-page intro. by the author about her life and her purpose in writing this book. May as well begin with this, and then I can decide if it's of interest to me.

I must have stood there, by of that library shelf, for twenty minutes or more, compulsively reading that little book. With an awareness that here was something that was very important. Looking back now, ten years later, it feels like it was not the actual words of the book that held my attention, that caused me to be totally fascinated. It was the energy of the experience that held me captive, almost as if Mary was reaching out directly to me and touching me somewhere deep within my being. Or, maybe it was a subconscious awareness of just how important this was soon to become to me. Or, maybe, with the wisdom of hindsight ten years later, I am just imagining that.

Anyway, whatever it was that was the cause, I was hooked. I remember taking that little book home and reading it cover to cover that same evening, and then re-reading it several times until I had to return it to the library by June 5th, which was “D-Day” for me. The day that I embarked on my “big adventure”, my new beginning, the big move from Nelson to Wellington.

So, at around 5:30pm on the evening of Friday 5th June, 1992, just as it was getting dark, I drove my car off the ferry, after the three hour trip that takes one across Cook Strait, between the South Island and the North Island of New Zealand, all eager to begin the next phase of my life. I had several job interviews lined up for the next few days, and I was certain that my fortunes were about to take a turn for the better.

As I drove through the rapidly darkening streets of Wellington, our capital city, through the Friday evening rush-hour traffic, from the docks towards the suburb of Karori, that little book of Mary's, and the subject of flower essences, would have been far from my mind. My thoughts were firmly focussed on the excitement of finally being here in the big city, and free!  Free of the disasters of the past few years. Free of the business collapse, and the marriage breakdown and “failure”. And free from the pain and disappointment of the recent relationship with the woman who I really had believed was my “soul mate”, which had ended with so much pain and bitter disappointment.

Freedom! Yes!  “Wellington, here I am! Bring on the opportunities! I am here!” I really felt like I had, by physically moving from one city to another, and across the water of Cook Strait, from the South Island of New Zealand to the North Island, that I had left all my troubles behind me, and was now free to make a fresh beginning. That here I would find happiness and fulfillment. That here I would make new friends and carve out a new life for myself. And a new “fortune” too. That here, amongst the opportunities of the capital city, I would very soon gain highly-paid employment, and all my financial problems would be a distant memory.

I plunged myself into the first step towards the fulfillment of my dream, finding a job that was worthy of my talents. Over the next few months, I must have applied for thirty or forty jobs in the computer industry. With many of them, I never even received an acknowledgement to my application, with some I received the usual type of rejection letter, and with a few I scored an interview.

With three of the jobs, all of them well paid with quality employers, I was told before the interview that I was considered to be the leading candidate, but in all three interviews I somehow blew my chances and missed out!

My funds were running very low, and my credit cards were nearing their limits. I was offered a part-time commission-only job, and, with little choice, accepted this as a temporary solution. This “temporary” solution was actually to last for almost two years.

Click here to go to Part Two of the story.

As an “aside” from this story, you might like to read a “flashback” about some of the events that led up to this point.  In 1998, six years after the events described here, I sat down on a rainy Saturday morning in October and began writing.....

Three weeks later, I had produced, primarily for the purpose of self-therapy, ninety pages that describe many of the experiences that shaped my life up until that time.  I will be interweaving parts of this 1998 version of  “My Story” into this present (2002) narrative.

Click here to read Part One of the 1998 version of the story.

If you have already read some of the 1998 version of the story, and would like to re-enter the story at the point you left off, click on the appropriate link below....

Section One, Episode Two  Many changes, and marriage finishes.

Section One, Episode Three  1991-92  Cynthia, and Wellington.

Section One, Episode Four    1992-93  Cynthia Revisited.

Section Two, Episode One    1993-94  The Journey Begins.

Section Two, Episode Two    1994    A Romantic Interlude.

Section Two, Episode Three  1994-95  Breath Express.

Section Two, Episode Four   1995-96  Meagan.

Section Two, Episode Five    1996     Quantum Dynamics.

Section Two, Episode Six     1996-98  Jane.

Section Two, Episode Seven  1998     Jane - resolved.

Section Three, Episode One  1992-93  Health and healing.

Section Three, Episode Two  1993-94  Essences, homeopathy, etc.

Section Three, Episode Three  1994-98  Flower Essences.... in depth.

Section Three, Episode Four   1996   Hakomi.

Section Three, Episode Five    1998   Energy Healing Devices.

Section Four, Episode One     1950's  Growing up in suburbia, 1950's style.

Section Four, Episode Two    1950's  Sex in suburbia, 1950's style.

Section Four, Episode Three  1950's  Fear and despair in the classroom.

Section Five, Episode One    1964-65  Peter grows up, and discovers girls!

Section Five, Episode Two    1965   The agony of teenage love.

Section Five, Episode Three  1965-66  Searching, desperately, for love.

Section Five, Episode Four    1966-67  Teenage pregnancy, and adoption.

Section Five, Episode Five     1992-93  Epilogue. The final redemption.

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