The Alchemist – Dale Bannister

The Alchemist
The Alchemist

During May 2017, I decided to close my aquatics shop. It didn’t meet my financial needs, and no longer rewarded on an emotional level. In fact, the business caused daily stress and headaches for my partners and myself. A business which was once a pride and joy had become a source of misery. No pleasure remained in it, so the decision (a very hard one) was taken to close the doors and chalk the five years up to experience.

Inevitably, I asked myself: ‘What now?’ After running my own business for five years there was now a deep and silent void. And for some reason, the consideration of my age seemed to insist on finding a new beginning. At forty-five I would soon have to make a definitive decision. Strangely I harboured no worries and there was a sense of calm. Now maybe this was because I no longer had the stress of running a business. However, I knew bills still needed to be paid and I have my pride and self-esteem to consider. The inner-being insisted I discovered a purpose and vocation to take me into my future.

No Clue

During the last ten months, I have had plenty of time to spare, to sit and dwell, and go through the process of ‘what ifs’. I’ve also read many books which are not my usual interest. I also watched many YouTube videos produced by people such as Tony Robbins. The books and videos have helped me recognise my mindset has gone through a process of change. For instance: I noticed over the last two years the thought ‘it is what it is’ has become very much part of my psyche. I have learned the word ‘acceptance’ can be considered as an attitude, and one of incredible significance.

Even though I wasn’t troubled by the situation, there was, as already mentioned a need to find a direction. I felt when the time was right, something would come along to give my life a purpose. In the meantime, my lovely partner Tracy was the only one earning and paying the bills. She was concerned about the future and she knew I needed a purpose and objective. During conversations, ideas were thought through, however, it was agreed that I would start looking for employment, even though I couldn’t see myself working for anyone else. So, to release Tracy from her worries, I applied for numerous and varied types of jobs. I attended more interviews than in any other part of my life. Although I had so much to give, I did not receive one offer of employment. The deep feeling of demoralisation associated with this situation needs no explanation.

In these situations, we should never waste available time, each moment should be used wisely. I decided to decorate the house and if I write DIY and I don’t get on, your reading an understatement. And yet; decorating the home gave me a sense of ‘peace’, and in this calm, my thoughts began to gel.

I will never forget this lesson to use time wisely!

Renovating our home helped my self-esteem, my sense of self-worth. I was making our house lovelier than it already was, my endeavour was beginning to change my life for the better. As Tracy watched me contribute to our home, by decorating, cleaning, washing, cooking, she became more at ease because she could see I was active and not stagnating. I know the moment a human has a purpose and becomes active all things change for the better, and although there was a need to find employment, somewhere within my being there was no sense of urgency. Although, I knew Tracy was right to enforce the need to find work.

During September/November 2017, Heather Pedley and I talked about the future. I was toying with an idea of becoming a Counsellor or Life Coach. I researched the courses needed to qualify for this type of vocation. Respected and solid qualifications in counselling take a minimum of 3 years to achieve. There is no doubt I would be able to commit, but would the career reward me in the long term? I doubted this type of work would align with my personality or my inner-self. And as I have always felt doubt is a good indicator of one’s true feelings I decided to investigate other avenues. So, we talked some more about the possibilities available, products, treatments and therapies. Many aspects of holistic treatment were discussed, but nothing had that special ‘spark’ which is needed to begin a new venture.

During the final Newark Well Being Show in 2017, I was helping Heather with her stand. I decided to try a ‘reading’ with Simon Goodfellow. His guidance was clear and precise ‘You should consider the opportunities this type of event hold for you – There is an undoubted desire for you to help other people. You have that ability, and these events are somewhere to begin’. I thought about this suggestion; As I had considered the shows as a place to start a new journey at other times.

At the end of 2017, an article in LEN promoted the sale of a business. I looked into the product, researched it and attempted to contact the vendor. A week passed and no reply. After two weeks of silence, I decided something somewhere was guiding that the business was not right for me; I am not writing the company was not viable or sound, I am writing my personal ‘vibes’ may not be right for the product.

Life carried on, and Tracy, Heather and I continued to talk about the options and possibilities open to me. In-between all this, life continued, I visited the shows, sometimes helping Heather, other times attending as a visitor with Tracy. During each visit, I take note of EVERYTHING around me. There isn’t much I miss, and what I do see can be quite annoying at times. Especially when you just want to mooch about and browse or talk to people you know, then my intuition tunes in on something and takes over my thread of thoughts!

The Moment

One evening Tracy, Heather and I are again talking about the future and something is suggested, we talk it through, and I like the sound of the initial idea. Over the following weeks, Tracy and I weigh up what is involved, costs, every possibility is investigated.

I liked the feeling 

Forward to the February Newark Well Being Show. Tracy and I visited on Saturday. Tracy had family commitments for Sunday, so I return alone. As normal, I enjoy conversations with my many friends, I walk the ‘floor’ and continue to mull over the idea Simon had re-kindled in my mind. I wanted to discover my deep inner feelings about the suggestion. I asked my inner-being ‘Is this the place we can build our future?’ You cannot rush the inner-self, you have to let the ideas flow through your being, thoughts and emotional feelings. The same evening I talked to Tracy and said ‘I feel the shows will work for me and I should be attending as an exhibitor’. The next question was ‘What should I be doing at the events?’

Another business came up for sale. It is a good and well-established business and will work well for someone. Only it was not for me, it carried a well-established identity, and for some reason, I felt I needed to create something of my own, with products I knew and enjoyed. This was the moment the clouds lifted. A business idea thought about for probably 3-4 months, was now finally recognised. It was now time to put the ‘intention’ into action.

Now it is ok to find the solution. However, the solution requires a name. Once you give something an identity it becomes real; it manifests into reality. Tracy and I threw names at each other, but they didn’t fit with the ‘idea’s’ purpose. Tracy suggested I call Heather as she knows everything about marketing. (There is a standing joke within our family, that Heather does know everything and what she doesn’t know, isn’t wacky enough to interest her mind).

Cannot see the wood for the trees

I contacted Heather the next morning and asked her for some ideas on the name. After listening to our thoughts, she confirmed the names would not help our business’s objectives or identity. Then she made a suggestion: The instant reply? ‘Yes that’s it, why the hell didn’t I think of it – it’s so obvious!’

For around eight years, I’ve had an interest in Alchemy. At some stage, I purchased ‘The Alchemy’ cards by Raymond Buckland. Although interesting, they were complicated as they contained so many elements. I had intended on learning how to ‘read’ the cards with the possibility of attending MBS events as a ‘reader’, and I knew of no one who worked with these cards. So, when the Heather suggested the name ‘The Alchemist’ it seemed to be a perfect indication I had made the correct decision to begin my new business at the shows!

Alchemy is often (my point of view) misunderstood. Many people believe that it was about transformation and transmutation, turning base metals into gold. There is another school of thought that Alchemy is connected to astrology, natural philosophy, theology, medicine and healing and that turning lead into gold is a term or phrase which suggest a significant and positive change. In the same way, ‘The Philosophers Stone’ is not a stone, it is a reference to the central symbol of the mystical terminology of Alchemy. A symbol of perfection at its finest, enlightenment, heavenly bliss and spirituality.

I feel the title is easy to recognise and remember. I think the name will ‘work’ anywhere, and it will not tie me down to just one product or service. My business is called ‘The Alchemist’ the products I sell and promote are all concerned with the transformation of health and well-being. They are products which work for people I know. In truth, they are the beginning of my new purpose and new beginnings.

What are they? Watch this space.



  1. A very interesting read Dale reading towards the end I was looking forward to reading the information regarding what an alchemist actually does and the tools used, obviously that’s for another time I’m watching this space.

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