Alchemical Traditions * Aaron Cheak (editor) (2013)

“Alchemical Traditions: From Antiquity to the Avant-Garde” is the most massive Numen Book to date. With 684 pages, “Alchemical Traditions” definately leaves the notions of being a journal. Also this latest volume seems more academic than its predecessors. The massive bibliography is bundled in the back and there are bios of the authors referring to their respective academic statuses. The subjects are not the most common though and most essays are readable and interesting.
This book opens with a general overview of alchemy over the world. The first texts are about the more famous forms of alchemy, the Egyptian and Greek. Soon we leave for the East with Taoistic, Hinduistic and Tibetan alchemy. Part II becomes more about alchemy; its processes and symbolism, but we also quickly move forward in time until we reach the previous century with modern-day alchemists, alchemy and modern art and horticulture. Indeed, with this book you will get all aspects of alchemy, with much stress on the non-material approaches.
I particularly found the articles about less-known alchemies, the Hindu and Tibetan, interesting to read and the highlight of “Alchemical Traditions” certainly was Hereward Tilton’s “Heinrich Khunrath’s and the making of the philosopher’s stone” in which the texts of this famous alchemist are combed through and cross referenced to other writings.
If I am not mistaken, the coming publication with be the next “Mimir”, or perhaps “The New Antaios” will see the light of day before that.
2013 Numen Books, isbn 0987559826

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