In many ways Shamanism is the same as Alchemy.
They both approach spiritual development through a psychic involvement with matter. But while European alchemy became entrapped in an obsession with metals and purified elements, shamanism fixated its attention in the living energies of plants, animals and spirits.
It is perhaps because of this reason that alchemy became synonymous with gaining wealth and immortality. For those who confused the metaphors of the original alchemy with reality, the practice became a pseudo-science of transforming lead into gold. For others, however, alchemy remained the secret science of illumination and inner liberation.
The Science of Transformation
Aurum Nostrum Non Est Aurum Vulgi: Our gold is not common gold. ~ Alchemist saying