In its search for the "Philosopher's Stone" that would transmute base metals into silver and gold, alchemy took on many philosophical, religious and mystical overtones. These and many other facets of alchemy are explored with enormous insight and erudition in this classic work. E. J. Holmyard, a noted scholar in the field, begins with the alchemists of ancient Greece and China and goes on to discuss alchemical apparatus, Islamic and early Western alchemy; signs, symbols, and secret terms; Paracelsus; English, Scottish and French alchemists; Helvetius, Price, and Semler, and much more.
Ranging over two millennia of alchemical history, Mr. Holmyard shows how, like astrology and witchcraft, alchemy was an integral part of the pre-scientific moral order, arousing the cupidity of princes, the blind fear of mobs and the intellectual curiosity of learned men. Eventually, however, with the advent and ascension of the scientific method, the hopes and ideas of the alchemists faded to the status of "pseudo-science." That transformation, as well as alchemy's undeniable role as a precursor of modern chemistry, are brilliantly illuminated in this book. Students of alchemy, chemistry, the history of science, and the occult, plus anyone interested in the origin and evolution of one of mankind's most enduring and influential myths, will want to have a copy of this masterly study.
Where else can one combine chemistry and philosophy to turn base metal into gold while discovering a magical elixir to prolong life? Here's a simple and straightforward guide to alchemy that explains its basic principles. Written by one of the world's few practicing alchemists, it's a concise reference guide that provides easy-to-follow information so that anybody can be a wizard-in-training.
In What Painting Is, James Elkins communicates the experience of painting beyond the traditional vocabulary of art history. Alchemy provides a magical language to explore what it is a painter really does in her or his studio - the smells, the mess, the struggle to control the uncontrollable, the special knowledge only painters hold of how colours will mix, and how they will look.
Written from the perspective of a painter-turned-art historian, What Painting Is is like nothing you have ever read about art.
The Golden Builders is divided into three parts:
Part 1 presents a broad survey of the Hermetic current and its transmissions from Hellenistic Alexandria to the time of Paracelsus.Part 2 focuses on the Rosicrucian movement as a vehicle of the Hermetic current, drawing on state-of-the-art research, such as the works of Spanish scholar Carlos Gilly. Part 3 concentrates mainly on one man, the English polymath, antiquarian, collector, alchemist, astrologer, and early Freemason, Elias Ashmole, after whom the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford is named, and one of many Renaissance figures who carried the Hermetic current forward. Debunking myths while revealing genuine mysteries, The Golden Builders is an enticing read that contains much spiritual wisdom. Explore the deeper meaning of magic and human existence, as revealed in the records and inspiring lives of the Golden Builders.