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ALCHEMY

Amongst the occult sciences, alchemy is nowadays one of the most inspiring, not
only because of the countless books that have been written since ancient times,
but also due to a desire to know more about the truthfulness of the Philosophers
Stone, also know as the Universal Medicine.
For a long time, alchemy wassynonymous of quackery and dubious credibility. The
main reason for this has always been the lack of serious publications, as most o
f the available material consisted of crude imitations of the ancient treatises,
authored by "blowers" - pretence alchemists - where the absurd comes together w
ith the lack of knowledge.
At the present time, due to the publication of translations of the most importan
t classical works of the Great Masters, most people have revised their opinion.
The word alchemy, deriving from the arabic "al-kimia", has the same meaning as c
hemistry. Nevertheless this chemistry - known as spagyric in the ancient times -
is not the same as the actual chemistry, but a different one, of a transcendent
al and spiritual nature.
The arabic "al" is known to mean the Supreme Being - the All-Mighty - like in
Al-lah. Alchemy has always been known as the science of God, the chemistry of Al
.
Alchemy is the art of perfecting the bodies with the help of nature. In a way, b
eing a technical science, alchemy can be seen as a practical art. As such, it de
velops on a certain number of theories relative to the constitution of matter, t
he generation of inanimate and living substances, etc.
The alchemical view of matter defines it as having three fundamental principles,
sulphur, mercury and salt. These, when combined in different proportions, give
birth to new bodies.
In Roger Bacons The Mirror of Alchemy we find that ...alchemy is the science that
teaches how to prepare a certain medicine or elixir, which, when projected on th
e imperfect metals, communicate its perfection.
The operative alchemy - a direct application of alchemical theories - is the sea
rch for the Philosophers Stone. It comprises two principal aspects: the universal
medicine and the transmutation of metals, where one is the real proof of the ot
hers validity.
Most of the times, alchemists were also doctors in medicine, philosophers and as
trologers, like Paracelsus, Albertus Magnum, Saint Augustine, Brother Basil Vale
ntine and so many of other masters, nowadays known for their undoubtedly genuine
works.
Each master had a set of disciples that he would initiate in the art, and transm
it his knowledge. Moreover, intending to preserve their knowledge from the passa
ge of time, they would frequently write it down, more often than not under a pse
udonym, concealing their precious formulas by mean of allegories, symbols and im
ages.
The lack of a common and static set of symbols is the main difficulty presented
to those who strive to understand this art. Everything was - and still is - depe
ndent of the imagination and will of the author.
An alchemist, unlike what most people think, is not a gold maker. As we said bef
ore, the transmutation will occur only as a means to prove the veracity of the u
niversal medicine or philosophers stone.
Nowadays, like in the past, alchemy has its followers. They can be found amongst
every social stratus, as Cyliani teaches in is Hermes Devoil: ...Kings of the Ear
th, if you knew the large number of people that at the present surrender in secr
et to the quest for the philosophers stone, youd be surprised.
Thousands of books have been written about this art, because, as it seems, since
the middle ages to the 19th century, alchemy was very popular. It was practiced
not only by gentlemen, nobles and knights, religious people and clericals, but
even by kings and popes, who frequently wrote some treatises on the art of Herme
s.
This has obviously led to the publication of countless books of little value, po
orly related to alchemy.
Nowadays, these books on the hermetic art are in great demand. Unfortunately, on
e will find many books that seem to be serious, but are in fact mere speculation
. Even so, they are most frequently acquired by those desiring to extract some n
ew information, or just for plain curiosity.
It is far from our intents to declare that serious books were not written on the
subject of alchemy. Such books do exist, and are well known by the students and
researchers of alchemy. Most of them can be found in compilations such as the T
eatrum Chemicum, the Biblioteca Chemica Curiosa de Mangeti, and also the Bibliot
hque des Philosophes Chimiques de Salmon.
Rubellus Petrinus