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.
Transformation of the Psyche is organized around 22 illuminated paintings from the early Renaissance alchemical manuscript the Splendor Solis, and is further illustrated by over 50 colour figures. The images of the Splendor Solis are possibly the most beautiful and evocative alchemical paintings to be found anywhere, and they are widely known to students of alchemy. Jung reproduced several Splendor Solis images in his works, yet prior to this book no one has explored the symbolism of the paintings as a series in relation to the process of depth psychological transformation. This book is the first scholarly study of the paintings in their entirety, and of the mythological and historical allusions contained within the images. Transformation of the Psyche does not simply explain or analyze the pictures, but invites the reader to participate in the creative and transforming process evoked by these images.
Transformation of the Psyche is a truly unique book that will be of immense value and interest to analysts and psychotherapists, as well as scholars of mediaeval and renaissance intellectual history and students of spiritual disciplines.
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.
Through the interpretation of alchemical imagery, Raff explains the nature of these three concepts and illustrates how together they form a new model of contemporary Western spirituality. This book is also unique in selecting alchemical texts for analysis that are relatively unknown and which, for the most part, have never been interpreted. In addition, he presents two new concepts--the ally and the psychoid realm. Through the addition of these ideas, and the new understanding that they offer, it is possible to apply alchemical imagery to transpsychic experience/ that is, to a world of spirits which may not be reduced to psychological concepts. By including this realm in the study of alchemy and Jungian thought, it is possible to gain insights into the nature of visionary and ecstatic experiences that form part of the path of individuation--the road to completion.
the transmutation of base metals into gold by means of the Lapis Philosophorum, the Philosopher's Stone; the concoction of the Elixir of Life, a universal medicine;the reconciliation between spirit and matter and direct knowledge of the Divine
This concise dictionary of alchemy provides clear access to one of the major roots of Western esoteric thought. Subjects include alchemical processes and procedures, the natural elements and apparatus used, major practitioners and philosophers, and concepts and beliefs. Distinguishing this guide from similar ones is the addition of etymology, connecting the language of alchemy to its Latin, Greek, and Arabic sources. Symbolic pictographs accompany half of the over four hundred entries, and a fascinating illustration from the long tradition of alchemical art introduces each letter of the alphabet.
Most important is the author Jordan Stratford’s unique perspective as both a modern Gnostic priest and a Freemason. He also brings to bear extensive knowledge of the depth psychology of C. G. Jung, who based his key concept of individuation on the premise that what the ancient alchemists truly sought was inner transformation.
Using the works of Vaughan as his text, Levenda applies the “twilight language” of Tantra to the surreal prose of the alchemist and in the process lays bare the lineaments of the arcane tradition that gave rise to the legend of Christian Rosenkreutz, the reputed founder of Rosicrucianism who learned his art in the East; and to the 19th- and 20th-century occult movements lead by such luminaries as P.B. Randolph, Theodore Reuss, Helena Blavatsky, and Aleister Crowley who also sought (and discovered) this technology in the religions and cultures of Asia.
Readers will find that the many disparate threads of an authentic spiritual tradition are woven together here in a startling tapestry that reveals—without pretense or euphemism—the psycho-sexual technique that is at the root of both Tantra and alchemy: that is to say, of both Asian and European forms of esoteric praxis.