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.
Who was the man behind these stories? Some have accused him of being a charlatan, a windbag who filled his books with wild speculations and invented words. Others claim him as the father of modern medicine. Philip Ball exposes a more complex truth in The Devil's Doctor—one that emerges only by entering into Paracelsus's time. He explores the intellectual, political, and religious undercurrents of the sixteenth century and looks at how doctors really practiced, at how people traveled, and at how wars were fought. For Paracelsus was a product of an age of change and strife, of renaissance and reformation. And yet by uniting the diverse disciplines of medicine, biology, and alchemy, he assisted, almost in spite of himself, in the birth of science and the emergence of the age of rationalism.
"Ball produces a vibrant, original portrait of a man of contradictions:" - Publishers Weekly
Wunder recovers the common knowledge about the societies and offers readers a first look at the role they played in the writings of Romantic authors in general and Keats in particular. She argues that Keats was aware of the information available about the secret societies and employed hermetic terminology and imagery associated with these groups throughout his career. As she traces the influence of these secret societies on Keats's poetry and letters, she offers readers a new perspective not only on Keats's writings but also on scholarship treating his religious and philosophical beliefs. While scholars have tended either to consider Keats's aesthetic and religious speculations on their own terms or to adopt a more historical approach that rejects an emphasis on the spiritual for a materialist interpretation, Wunder offers us a middle way. Restoring Keats to a milieu characterized by simultaneously worldly and mythological propensities, she helps to explain if not fully reconcile the insights of both camps.
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.
In the mid-1930s, Israel Regardie had an insight into understanding alchemical writings. The result was The Philosopher's Stone, where he analyzed three 17th-century alchemical works symbolically, psychologically, and via magickal energy.
Now, famed occultists Chic and Tabatha Cicero bring this book into the 21st century. The original is completely reproduced here. The Hebrew transliterations have been updated with modern styles and the text is fully annotated and explained. Added are these new features:New introduction New illustrations Biographical dictionary Glossary Resource list Bibliography Index Plus, six new original articles "The Spiritual Alchemy of the Golden Dawn," by Chic Cicero "Intro to Alchemy: A Golden Dawn Perspective," by Mark Stavish "Basic Alchemy for the Golden Dawn" and "Golden Dawn Ritual Method and Alchemy," by Samuel Scarborough "The Elixir of the Sun," by Steven Marshall "Solve Et Coagula: The Wedding of Sol and Luna," by the Ciceros
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.