Download Alchemy (Dover Books on Engineering) by E. J. Holmyard PDF

By E. J. Holmyard

Alchemy is believed to have originated over 2000 years in the past in Hellenic Egypt, the results of 3 converging streams: Greek philosophy, Egyptian know-how and the mysticism of center jap religions. Its heyday used to be from approximately 800 A.D. to the center of the 17th century, and its practitioners ranged from kings, popes, and emperors to minor clergy, parish clerks, smiths, dyers, and tinkers. Even such complete males as Roger Bacon, Thomas Aquinas, Sir Thomas Browne and Isaac Newton got interested in alchemical matters.

In its look for the "Philosopher's Stone" that might transmute base metals into silver and gold, alchemy took on many philosophical, non secular and mystical overtones. those and plenty of different elements of alchemy are explored with huge, immense perception and erudition during this vintage paintings. E. J. Holmyard, a famous student within the box, starts with the alchemists of old Greece and China and is going directly to speak about alchemical gear, Islamic and early Western alchemy; indicators, symbols, and mystery phrases; Paracelsus; English, Scottish and French alchemists; Helvetius, expense, and Semler, and masses more.

Ranging over millennia of alchemical historical past, Mr. Holmyard exhibits how, like astrology and witchcraft, alchemy was once a vital part of the pre-scientific ethical order, arousing the cupidity of princes, the blind worry of mobs and the highbrow interest of discovered males. finally, even though, with the appearance and ascension of the clinical strategy, the hopes and concepts of the alchemists light to the prestige of "pseudo-science." That transformation, in addition to alchemy's indisputable function as a precursor of recent chemistry, are brilliantly illuminated during this ebook. scholars of alchemy, chemistry, the heritage of technological know-how, and the occult, plus an individual attracted to the foundation and evolution of 1 of mankind's such a lot enduring and influential myths, probably want to have a replica of this masterly examine.

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Symbolises nothing more than a butcher's apron"46. In accordance with this the apron was once tied about the waist for the sacrifice of a ram, this being a tithe to renew the seven year reign of the Magister, yet it is still worn by some in sacrificial rites, especially those of self-sacrifice. This is somewhat reminiscent of the Chod Rite, wherein tantric practitioners "dance festooned with bones, wearing a cap and apron tailored from tanned human skin, amidst corpses [within 46. Jones, Evan John.

However, it is also worth taking into account the differences between them, which reveals certain variances between those images depicting the witch god with antlers and those where he appears as a goat or bull headed theriomorph. Whilst horns are permanent, antlers are not; rather they begin growing in spring in preparation for mating and are shed naturally in winter after the mating season, thereby evoking the seasonal round. It is in light of this that stags have come to represent the solar year, as emblemised in the image of the sun shining betwixt his antlers, which in mytho-poetic terms aligns the stag with the sacrificial king as 'roebuck in the thicket'.

Amid the witch cult there exists a technique whereby the sleeping Serpent coiled in the base of the spine is awakened and drawn along the spinal axis until it reaches the summit of the skull, which might be imagined as an osseous Castle at whose centre we find the Graal-Cauldron. Such is to speak of the manner in which the sexual fire is aroused and transmuted into spiritual fire, literally 'setting the head afire'. Besides aiding in the unfoldment of the secret faculties, which have their analogues in the physical senses, such a technique also connects man with god.

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