Archive | History of Alchemy


The Medieval Hermetic-Kabbalistic Tradition and Rosicrucianism

    Magic and Science: Danger and Power    In the early days of science, thinkers did not separate science from spirituality. Until the nineteenth century, scientists maintained a holistic worldview that comprehended every aspect of experience and knowledge.  Copernicus revered Hermes Trismegistus, Tycho Brahe studied astrology, and Johann Kepler followed Pythagorean philosophy. Robert Boyle, […]

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tycho brahe geocentric

The Western Mystery Tradition: Neoplatonism, Hermeticism, and Kabbalah

    The Western Mystery Tradition   The eight interconnected systems within the Western Mystery Tradition are: the ancient Mysteries, Neoplatonism, Hermetic philosophy, symbolic alchemy, Kabbalah, early and Renaissance magic, Rosicrucianism, Freemasonry and related fraternal organizations. These eight systems all describe the story of the unfolding of the cosmos as a progressive degeneration of cosmic […]

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Medieval European Alchemy

  Alchemy in Medieval Literature   The alchemist of the Middle Ages was usually a professed Christian, often a monk or clergyman, who studied what he could of Hermetic alchemy, Greek philosophy, the Jewish Kabbalah, and his own native and foreign magic. The Great Work of the alchemist, in emulation of the “Great Architect,” was […]

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The Liberal Arts and Freemasonry

  The Vitruvian Tradition   The liberal arts were based upon the Hellenistic education called enkyklios paideia, taught by fifth century BCE Sophists to the upper classes, and promoted by Roman luminaries like Cicero. The Classical Roman architect Marcus Vitruvius Pollio (80 BCE – 15 CE), who was raised in the early liberal arts tradition, […]

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The Muslim Alchemists

      The Nestorians   In the fifth century a Christian sect called the Nestorians, who followed Nestorius, a Patriarch of Constantinople, were declared heretical and broke with the established church. This sect migrated to Persia with Greek manuscripts and translated Greek texts to Syriac Aramaic, monopolizing medicine and incidentally bringing alchemical literature to […]

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Candidate’s Introduction Part V: Origins of Western Alchemy: Magic and Science

  The Dark Ages of Christian Europe   This article is a short introduction to the relationship between magic, alchemy, science and religion. It takes just a very brief peek at the dark side of the Christian religion in regards freedom of thought and scientific advancement. The modern alchemist will note the holistic nature of […]

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