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Bibliophile price: £4.50
Published in 1850, this facsimile edition of 2016 has been carefully scanned by our friends at The Lost Library in Glastonbury. The book is 'a dissertation on the more celebrated of the alchemical philosophers being an attempt towards the recovery of the ancient experiment of nature'. Mary Anne Atwood reveals the confusing entanglements and deliberate confusions of the Green Language and how the ancient authors used its symbolic code to secretly communicate to their peers the true purpose of the 'Hermetic Art' and 'Great Work'. She does this from references from hundreds of sources from Socrates, Homer and Plato all the way through to Isaac Newton in one huge tome, often with sentences running on for pages which requires a certain subtlety of mind and discipline in her readers. She subtlety and cryptically asserts that Alchemy was no science of turning lead into gold, but rather a science of turning common man into an enlightened form of man, symbolised by gold. This was to be accomplished by understanding the Elementals of Earth - air, water and fire and their Principles. Air symbolises the conscious mind; earth the primeval mind; water the subconscious mind. To 'know thyself' in this way was the beginning of their philosophy, an undertaking that involves a rite of initiation simply called 'Hands' or the 'Manual Method'. She describes it as being similar to hypnotism. The book is widely considered to be one of the most influential works on the spiritual interpretation of European alchemy. Originally burned by the author and her father for fear that too many hermetic secrets had been revealed, this work contains a key notion, that alchemy is philosophy. Atwood died in 1910, an individual capable of investigation both meta and psycho-physical phenomena. 597pp in paperback.

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