For those who are new...

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For those who are new...

Post  taceyoto on Mon Dec 10, 2007 5:00 pm

So, there are plenty of Alchemical texts and plenty of access to them, but for someone new to the trade, it can be very scary and confusing. What texts would you recommend New Students should start? Where should they go? Can you just point in the right direction, it still leaves them doing the walking...
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Re: For those who are new...

Post  deviadah on Mon Dec 10, 2007 5:06 pm

I'll move this to alchemical texts since the topic fits more there!

What texts would you recommend New Students should start?
It is always difficult since different people get turned on by different things...

Check out our Resources with links to many alchemical texts.

I always recommend Alchemy Rediscovered and Restored by Archibald Cockren, although it is more of an historical account... but one can find interesting areas and then search onwards from those... (it is also not a difficult read)!

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Re: For those who are new...

Post  taceyoto on Mon Dec 10, 2007 5:12 pm

Touche, but I was thinking more of a good Intro to Alchemy book, I looked into the one you mentioned it has had several good marks so I may just check it out.
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Re: For those who are new...

Post  BeautifulEvil on Tue Dec 11, 2007 2:16 am

The best thing to do is read as much as you can, even if you don't understand what you're reading. Sooner or later once you gain enough insight and knowledge you'll be able to put the pieces together.

This is how I learned, but your mileage may vary.

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Re: For those who are new...

Post  antonchanning on Thu Jan 17, 2008 3:16 pm

I'd recommend 'The Philosopher's Stone' by Peter Marshall. The author doesn't quite get it in my opinion, I've also seen him talk, a bit too transcendentalist, but his history and broad background coverage of alchemy from East to West is amongst the best I've read.

Other than that, I recommend all new Alchemists get themselves a copy of 'Alchemy and Mysticism: The Hermetic Museum' ed Alexander Roob. The edition with most possible pages in. Its a great reference book and I often go back to it, flick it open at randon pages, look at the art and read the captions. You can always learn something new going back into that book.

These are two good starting points for anyone wishing to explore the subject.
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Alchemy and Mysticism: The Hermetic Museum

Post  deviadah on Sun Jan 20, 2008 9:36 am

Yeah I got that book... I picked it up for a dollar or two (it was a true bargain). It is filled to the brim with alchemical images... one more extraordinary than the next!

If you can find it taceyoto I suggest you buy it!



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Re: For those who are new...

Post  antonchanning on Sun Jan 20, 2008 2:41 pm

deviadah wrote:Yeah I got that book... I picked it up for a dollar or two (it was a true bargain).

How many pages are there in your edition? Mine ends on page 711. There is a longer edition than that, and several shorter editions. Its definitely worth having an edition with the image on page 666. Its from the Paradoxa Emblemata by D A Freher. I've been wanting to get hold of a complete edition of that book for some time, but so far haven't had any luck finding it. Its been a while since I looked mind you...
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Paradoxa Emblemata

Post  deviadah on Sun Jan 20, 2008 2:56 pm

Mine is 574 pages... but it is a 25th anniversary edition...

I don't think pages are missing (it is just condensed somehow).

The Paradoxa Emblemata is on page 562 in my book!

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Re: For those who are new...

Post  antonchanning on Sun Jan 20, 2008 3:14 pm

deviadah wrote:Mine is 574 pages... but it is a 25th anniversary edition...

I don't think pages are missing (it is just condensed somehow).

The Paradoxa Emblemata is on page 562 in my book!

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In mine its on pages 628, 629, 666, 668, 677, 679, 698. The one on page 666 is the one that says "One the whole, the Point, the Centre, the Circumference, and whatsoever is therein." and "Nothing to the Unwise: To the Wise, more than enough."

The image betwixt these two sentences shows the seven planets about an eye in a triangle. Each planet contains a small version of its opposite (according to one popular alchemical schema of planetary opposites in any case).
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breaking the words

Post  carabric on Mon Jun 16, 2008 4:30 am

This depends wholly upon what you believe alchemy to be.
If you believe it to be a process involving your consciousness, mind, ego, id subconscious, inner child, dream aspect, spirit animal, or something regarding a moral or ethical dilemma- be it the way you interact with yourself, family and friends. Then read Carl Jung, Marie-Louise von Franz or Richard and Iona Miller... or really anyone that ascribes to these schools of thought.

If you believe it to be something which can be brought about by chemical means, archemical means, lab work, projecting your energy, thoughts, auras, mind, or powers on chemical substances metals, plants, or minerals which may or may not coincide with astrological events. Then read Robert Bartlett, Frater Albertus, PON courses, Flamel courses, Dennis William Hauck, Jean Dubuis, Manfred M Junius, Archibald Cockren etc...

If you believe it to be something which is brought about by metaphysical, magical, ritualistic, energetic healing, sexually, working your chi, speculative, incantation, channeling gods, deities, demons, or dead or living alchemist, channeling energy or perhaps through joining a secret school. Then check out these schools of thought: Thelema, Golden Dawn etc...Theosophy, Kabbalah, Rosicrucian, Masonic (some cases), Taoist, learn about Kundalini or read the works of Aleister Crowley, David Goddard, Mark Stavish, Israel Regardie, Chic Cicero, Lyam Thomas Christopher, Donald Tyson etc...

Or if you're an elitist snob like me and are interested in alchemy for alchemy's sake, you believe it to be something truly rare and profound, not easily understood, cryptic, laborious, mostly thankless, whose insights are only given by God or Nature (which may or may not be by way of the Adept). Then I would try to learn French, Latin, and Greek... at the very least have an English to ______ dictionary, and a word origin dictionary, or sites online that have the words in question and their origins and derivatives. Read the bible, or whatever truly monotheistic religion you prefer, I don't care which one it is...it has alchemy in it, Hindu and Buddhism as well. Don't get locked up in someone else's theory...ever, it's probably wrong. Go camping alot, watch nature, go to a farm, watch nature. Read the Iliad and Odyssey, Jason and the Argonauts, Twelve Labors of Hercules, understand the pantheon of Greek Gods and Roman equivalents, as well as the story of Osiris and Isis. The ancient philosophers with heavy emphasis on Hermes Trismegistus, Socrates, Plato, Anaxagorus, Plutarch, Pliny, Philostratus etc... The alchemist will repeatedly quote from these sources. The Brothers Grim fairy tales as well...the stories were all oral traditions before the brothers put them down on paper, and as such many were proliferated by those in the know.
The adepts I would read, and by adepts I mean source material which is verified by certain signs you can only understand after reading alot of these treatises are: Fulcanelli (I say him first since he provides an encyclopedia of knowledge of things from the most modern perspective), Paracelsus, Flamel, Philalethes, Lully, Ripley, Bacon, Hollandus, Beuther, Sendivogius, Figulus, Valentine, Mary the Prophetess, Villa Nova, Trevisan etc...There are many others, but read the way they tell you to read. They will tell you to read many of them to find the theory and not to trust everything to one alone. Truly understand what a metaphor is, many of the modern day physical alchemist really can't seem to grasp this concept...but it's not like the latter day ones did either. If ever something is spoken of clearly and easily understood with regard to the practical work, don't trust it wholly unless you see it verified elsewhere in someone else's writing. Above all, be prepared to never figure it out...they will tell you that it is very rare if you do. Even if you understand a part of it, they'll say, it really requires an understanding of the whole before you ever start. Good luck...
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Re: For those who are new...

Post  Israel on Mon Jun 16, 2008 1:19 pm

I'll agree with the above post. I've been studying Alchemy for the past three months now and have attempted to get my hands on every book I can manage. There is a common thread that runs through all of them - that being "observe nature". I really believe that nature is the ultimate guide for this work.

I found an excellent motto which I will be engraving onto a plaque for my future lab.

Ora, lege, lege, relege, labora et invenies
Pray, read, read, re-read, work and discover.

Hauck has a good "Complete Idiot's Guide to Alchemy". He's also my instructor through Flamel College. Frater Albertus is a good source. For more practical Alchemy, you can try "The Weiser Concise Guide to Alchemy" by Brian Cotnoir. I would suggest reading up on the Philosophy and Lab safety before delving into it though.

The Alchemy Website is a good source for Alchemical texts from such men as Paracelsus, Roger Bacon, etc.
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Re: For those who are new...

Post  BeautifulEvil on Tue Jun 17, 2008 1:24 am

Ora, lege, lege, relege, labora et invenies
Pray, read, read, re-read, work and discover.

I like this! I think I will do the same.

Or if you're an elitist snob like me and are interested in alchemy for alchemy's sake, you believe it to be something truly rare and profound, not easily understood, cryptic, laborious, mostly thankless, whose insights are only given by God or Nature (which may or may not be by way of the Adept). Then I would try to learn French, Latin, and Greek... at the very least have an English to ______ dictionary, and a word origin dictionary, or sites online that have the words in question and their origins and derivatives. Read the bible, or whatever truly monotheistic religion you prefer, I don't care which one it is...it has alchemy in it, Hindu and Buddhism as well. Don't get locked up in someone else's theory...ever, it's probably wrong. Go camping alot, watch nature, go to a farm, watch nature. Read the Iliad and Odyssey, Jason and the Argonauts, Twelve Labors of Hercules, understand the pantheon of Greek Gods and Roman equivalents, as well as the story of Osiris and Isis. The ancient philosophers with heavy emphasis on Hermes Trismegistus, Socrates, Plato, Anaxagorus, Plutarch, Pliny, Philostratus etc... The alchemist will repeatedly quote from these sources. The Brothers Grim fairy tales as well...the stories were all oral traditions before the brothers put them down on paper, and as such many were proliferated by those in the know.
The adepts I would read, and by adepts I mean source material which is verified by certain signs you can only understand after reading alot of these treatises are: Fulcanelli (I say him first since he provides an encyclopedia of knowledge of things from the most modern perspective), Paracelsus, Flamel, Philalethes, Lully, Ripley, Bacon, Hollandus, Beuther, Sendivogius, Figulus, Valentine, Mary the Prophetess, Villa Nova, Trevisan etc...There are many others, but read the way they tell you to read. They will tell you to read many of them to find the theory and not to trust everything to one alone. Truly understand what a metaphor is, many of the modern day physical alchemist really can't seem to grasp this concept...but it's not like the latter day ones did either. If ever something is spoken of clearly and easily understood with regard to the practical work, don't trust it wholly unless you see it verified elsewhere in someone else's writing. Above all, be prepared to never figure it out...they will tell you that it is very rare if you do. Even if you understand a part of it, they'll say, it really requires an understanding of the whole before you ever start. Good luck...

Sorry to quote such a large amount of text, but this part of the post is quite exceptional. I wanted to point it out again!

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It will be seized and plunged into the Tub, Forced to drink waters poisoned by sulfur.
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Re: For those who are new...

Post  Jepetto on Sat Jun 21, 2008 11:40 pm

antonchanning wrote:Other than that, I recommend all new Alchemists get themselves a copy of 'Alchemy and Mysticism: The Hermetic Museum' ed Alexander Roob. The edition with most possible pages in. Its a great reference book and I often go back to it, flick it open at randon pages, look at the art and read the captions. You can always learn something new going back into that book.

I was fortunate and found a copy of this too. Though I paid $20, and it is worth every cent and more.
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Sean Martin

Post  deviadah on Fri Aug 01, 2008 4:53 pm

I reckon this one is pretty good for a complete beginner:

Alchemy & Alchemists by Sean Martin (PDF download)

Enjoy!

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