From the origins of alchemy, both reputed and documented, Cherry Gilchrist's lively and sympathetic narrative takes the reader from the alchemical interests of the ancient Egyptians to the flowering of alchemy in the 17th century. She also elucidates the complexities of alchemical symbolism and examines the ways in which alchemy has developed in the 20th century.
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.
Hermes Trismegistus and other famous alchemists appear here, along with discussions of the craft's associations with chicanery (as memorably portrayed in Ben Jonson's 1610 comedy, The Alchemist),
and its role in the secret society of Rosicrucians. Additional topics include the alchemist's laboratory and equipment, alchemical symbols and secret alphabets, noteworthy manuscripts, the influence of astrology, and more.
Although regarded today as a pseudoscience, alchemy gave rise to scientific chemistry. This volume illustrates the ways in which efforts to transmute metals — such as the search for the ever-elusive philosopher's stone — stimulated experimentation with hitherto untried substances, leading to improved knowledge of the materials vital to applied chemistry. Anyone intrigued by the origins and practices of this age-old and still-mysterious discipline, as well as those interested in the history of chemistry, will appreciate this concise, authoritative study.
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.
Placing the alchemical Mercurius as a central concern reveals a Jungian interpretation in which the grail legend, alchemy and precessional astrology, as three thematic threads, converge. In such a treatment, Jung’s belief in the dawning of a new platonic month emerges as a central consideration and an esoteric perspective on Jung’s life and works is brought more fully to light, constructing a life-myth interpretation.
The book is comprised of three parts:
Aurea Catena: locating the figure of the alchemical Mercurius within the Western esoteric tradition
Daimonic Encounter: the relevance of this figure in Jung’s personal life
Magnum Opus: Jung’s portrayal of this figure in key texts such as Synchronicity, Aion, Mysterium Coniunctionis; and Emma Jung and von Franz’s The Grail Legend.
The Alchemical Mercuriusis a unique contribution to analytical psychology, substantially revealing ‘esoteric Jung’ and providing valuable perspectives on the theme of his myth for our times. The book will appeal to researchers and academics in the field of analytical psychology as well as postgraduate students.
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.
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.