Alchemy sounds like magic. It sounds like magic because it involves the transmuting of something coarse and without value to something refined and of worth. But really, there is nothing magical about it. It’s the process of finding a corner of the world you want to work on, and applying some elbow grease to make it better.

In this conversation with Leta Herman we explore the first four of the nine palaces of Alchemy. Which is to say, the nuts and bolts of working with the everyday world, because before you can work on the higher levels. You need to build your foundation and capacity by first gaining mastery with everyday life.

Listen into this discussion of spirit, matter and why matter matters.

In This Conversation We Discuss:

  • Four Palaces, Importance of Five Phases and Nine Palaces as Chinese Medicine Practitioners 
  • Alchemy, Nine Palaces,  The Most Important Palace
  • Leta’s Favorite Age Group to Work With, Development of Prefrontal Cortex  
  • The Idea of Career and Money, Wealth, Creating Meaning, Taoist Goal  
  • Understanding the Nine Palaces, Water Element: Career (Trust), Yellow Millet Dream, Heart Pain 
  • Curriculum: Taoist Concept, Reactivity, Pericardium 
  • Fire Palace: Love, Wood Palace: Health and Wealth, Five Elements 
  • Understanding Harmony with the Nine Palaces, Obstacles, Gaining Wisdom 
  • Working with Reactivity and Heart Pain, Pericardium Points, Boundaries 
  • Pericardium 6, Inner Frontier Gate, Power of Metal, Story of Nine Palaces


Within the profound interconnection of the Five Elements and the Nine Palaces lies a roadmap for navigating life's curriculum. Each Element intricately aligns with one of the earthly Palaces (Career, Relationship, Wealth and Travel). But it’s the higher level palaces we must face in our elder years (Creativity, Wisdom, Health, and Prosperity) so that we can resolve our most important palace: Home (our spiritual home).​

Leta Herman

I'm not your typical Chinese Medicine Practitioner. I always like to get that statement right out first! I consider myself a Chinese Medicine Healer, Alchemist, and lifetime learner. My unique approach involves non-needle techniques, using my fingers as energetic needles, and incorporating direct moxibustion, cupping, and gua sha. My journey into healing began with a healing crisis that changed my life, leading me to study with remarkable teachers like Master Jeffery Yuen, Eliot Cowan, and Niki Bilton over the past two decades.

Over the years I’ve focused on the more esoteric aspects of Chinese Medicine and Alchemical Healing, including Sun SiMiao’s Thirteen Ghosts Points and the Nine Stages of Daoist Alchemy. As co-founder of the, where we offer numerous CEU classes in Alchemical and Classical Chinese Medicine, I’m excited to start a new Alchemy apprenticeship cohort in our popular Master Alchemy Apprenticeship Program (MAAP) this Fall.

I also co-host the Inspired Action Podcast at, which focuses on Alchemy, the Five Elements, and the Nine Palaces for both practitioners and laypeople alike. You can find it anywhere you listen to podcasts!



Links and Resources

Visit Leta on her website to learn about her various offerings, or at the Alchemy Learning Center.
You can also find her on Facebook and Instagram

You can also listen to her Inspired Action Podcast on the website, or subscribe from wherever you get your podcasts.


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