Evolution of Still Water Alchemy
My name is Matthew Baniak, and I am the founder of Still Water Alchemy. I was born and raised in the prairies of Canada. Naturally, being a child who loved Sailor Moon, theatre, and astrology I didn’t exactly fit into the normal mould that was revered by my conservative surroundings.
My family gave high praise to academia, and I was blessed to be gifted a strong memory and intellect. Through classical conditioning, I believed obtaining a career in dentistry would be the best way to make my parents and those around me proud. But, any given chance I got I would say I wanted to live in NYC. I honestly believed that the only way to make any career in acting came true would be to become a dentist first, move to NYC, and then I could pursue my dreams.
To this day I am grateful I didn’t live out that constrained narrative.
My educational pursuits took my abroad to Australia, where I studied at the University of Queensland. I pursued higher education in nutrition and psychological patterns in elite athletes. I finished my Master’s in Kinesiology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. During this time, I was fortunate enough to study alongside and be mentored by Olympians, Sports Medicine Doctors, and Coaches who trained some of the greatest sport teams in the country.
I didn’t truly understand it at the time, but I was receiving a Masterclass on how the Mind, Body, and Soul are always connected.
After graduating with top distinctions and honours, I decided to pursue my life long dream of acting (much to my parents’ dismay). I was primed and ready to either start a PhD, or begin working at full-time jobs that paid $80,000/year. But, none of that really held my interest. I had spent 24 years making those around me happy and proud, I wanted to live life for myself.
I spent my time going back and forth between Vancouver and Toronto. Even though I invested a lot into my home in Vancouver, I knew deep-down Toronto was the next step. I went all in, and invested the next five years, and tens of thousands of dollars training at the top acting studios while cycling through hospitality gigs to accommodate my auditions. In 2019 I had the best hospitality gig of my life – flexible, easy money, and management that was competent (basically a Unicorn gig in the hospitality realm). At this time I was also auditioning frequently for network television shows and Netflix films.
In March of 2019 I clearly remember hearing, “you have to give up your serving job”. This came as a bit of a shock as I finally felt comfortable and had a side hustle that paid all my bills while allowing me to pursue my dreams. If I gave up this gig, I would have zero income coming in each month. But, I knew better than to doubt my higher self.After a weekend of affirmative signs from the Universe I quit my job. Three months later, I started a side hustle and named it Still Water Tarot.
Over the next year, I seemingly felt like I was hitting roadblock after roadblock. I would audition three-five times a week and not book a single gig. I was producing great content with Still Water, but not attracting clients or the recognition I thought I deserved. However, unbeknown to me during that time, I was building the foundation for the blessings and financial windfall that was about to flood into my life. I rebranded my business, and Still Water Alchemy was born in December of 2019.
At the start of 2020 I thought I would be fully booked with clients now that I had a professional website and momentum building. But alas, by the end of January, I had attracted very few clients - another dead end. I again studied and trained almost every single day to ensure my knowledge in astrology, and acting craft, were sharpening. I put myself out there and partook in any workshop or course that I connected with, as I knew the return on investment would pay off one day. However, by mid-March, I was burnt out and ready to quit as I was almost completely out of savings to pay my monthly bills. And then the world stopped.
I distinctly remembered talking to a friend who told me, “this will be really good for your business, people could sure use some spiritual guidance right now.” He wasn’t wrong. I took the next 10 months and literally worked non-stop. Looking ahead at the intense Mars-Saturn square that would persist for the second half of 2020, I knew we were not out of woods any time soon.
Having that foreknowledge of astrology allowed me to completely focus on my business. Along the way, I was able to use my gifts to completely turn around my clients’ lives during one of the most laborious and strenuous times in history. To this day, my mission is to aid my clients in whatever way they need with the intention to pass on knowledge that has the potential to completely change their life. It’s funny how the Universe works. It’s wild to think that in another timeline I might be a dentist at this very moment. When you allow yourself to surrender to your highest good, there is absolutely no way you cannot succeed. It’s impossible – your soul came into this timeline with a specific purpose. This I believe with my whole heart. The basic form of alchemy is transformation – lead into gold, darkness into light. If you are still enough to listen to the signs around you, I assure you whatever dream you have will materialize before you.
If you are willing to do the work, and are open to receive messages from the Cosmos and Universal energy, I am always here to serve you in this capacity. My soul wouldn’t have it any other way.
You Got This!!
Xx - Matthew, Founder of Still Water Alchemy
Core Principles of SWA
My mission has always been to pass along knowledge of taboo or esoteric topics in digestible and approachable ways to clients. Growing up with Catholic and Christian upbringings, I was well aware the Tarot and Astrology were looked at with skepticism. However, I have seen time and time again how these tools can completely change a person’s life. I have used these tools to quite simply change the lives of my clients. No matter what session or service I am conducting or holding space for, I aim to perform alchemy and transformation in whatever space I am in.
Continually giving back and being charitable are also of huge importance to me. If just 5% of North America donated $5/month, in one year over 1.1 Billion dollars would be raised for charitable foundations. And that’s simply $5/month from 5% of North America…
Still Water Alchemy donates a set percentage of their gross income every month to various environmental charities and organizations. The simple truth is we all have the ability to completely change someone’s life at any given time. Understanding money is just energy, and energy is cyclical in nature – any time we are generous with our time, energy, and money we will always receive those blessings back to us in return.
Each and every one of us has the potential for monumental change. Through community, knowledge, hard work and discipline, this potential transforms into one’s dreams manifesting into reality. You always have a choice. I consciously choose a reality where I can work with my clients to create beauty and success in their lives. Always know that I will always show up for you, and this business at 100%. I look forward to serving you and holding space in whatever way you need.
Xx - Matthew, Founder of Still Water Alchemy