Read e-book online A Dictionary of Alchemical Imagery PDF

By Lyndy Abraham

This dictionary records alchemical symbolism from the early centuries advert to the late-twentieth century, to be used by way of historians of literary tradition, philosophy, technological know-how and the visible arts, and readers attracted to alchemy and hermeticism. each one access incorporates a definition of the logo, giving the literal (physical) and figurative (spiritual) meanings, an instance of the logo utilized in alchemical writing, and a citation from a literary resource. There are fifty visible photos of photo woodcuts, copperplate engravings and painted by hand logos, a few reproduced right here for the 1st time.

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Coniunctio consume contrition conversion 46 cook cooks copper copulation coral see chemical wedding. see devour. the act of pounding, bruising or pulverizing. Arthur Dee refers to the Consilium coniugii on the preparation of the Stone’s matter: the spirits must often be ‘reiterated by Contrition and Assation with their Body, untill thou see these things which thou desirest in it’ (f c , 35). the transmutation of base metal into gold, of base man into divine man. Calid wrote of metals: ‘Now according to Avicen, it is not possible to convert or transmute Metals, unless they be reduced to their First Matter; then by the help of Art they are transmuted into another Metal’ {Booke of theSecrets, 122).

Ruland wrote: ‘It was used by Venetian painters, because it is blood-coloured’ (Lexicon, 102). In the final stages of the opus the Stone transforms into a rich blood red, sometimes compared to the vermilion of cinnabar or to the colour of the pomegranate. Edward Cradock wrote in ‘A Treatise Touching the Philosopher’s Stone’: ‘Like Cynobre or purple is the State /Of this our Stone, or like the Pomegranate’ (lines 521-2, AP, 26). circle the symbol of perfection. The circle signifies the perfect, eternal spiri­ tual realm in contrast to the square ,which signifies the earth, the cor­ ruptible world of illusion, the four elements, the four arms of the earthly cross (see square and circle).

He could directly read the secrets in nature’s mystic book without need of interpretation. Andrew Marvell referred to this tradition in ‘Upon Appleton House’ when he wrote of his ‘easie Philosopher’: ‘Thrice happy he who, not mistook, /Hath read in Natures mystickBook’ {lines 583-4). Sir Thomas Browne, who was familiar with the work of Paracelsus, wrote in ReligioMedici that every plant, vegetable 57 dragon dog and bitch and face displays ‘some outward figures which hang as signes or bushes of their inward formes.

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A Dictionary of Alchemical Imagery by Lyndy Abraham


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