Die Alchemie, Ihre Bedeutung Für Die Freimaurerei – Hans Fischer (2018)

Strangely enough, this book is not listed on the website of the publisher, nor are the other titles of the same author. The book is available from the Masonic Art website that is related to the publishing house (click on the cover).

“Alchemy, it’s meaning for Freemasonry” was just released. The author is a German Freemason who took up an interest in alchemy. The selling information says: “This is not a book about Alchemy, but a book about its meaning for Freemasonry”. In my opinion the author only lives up to this partially.

The square book is printed on glossy paper with many images, quite like the popular big edition works for the general audience. It is only a little over a 100 pages too. The author sketches some general information about alchemy usually in short chapters of only two pages. When you know the subject a little, nothing much will be new. There are also sidesteps to Kabbala, current day chemistry and other linked subjects. Here and there is a reference to Freemasonry, usually in cadres at the end of a chapter. Nothing much in depth here either. Both alchemy and Freemasonry has practitioners who only see the material or superficial side, while others see the spiritualism of the systems. Certain symbols can be seen on images from both systems, such as the sun and the moon, columns, stars, etc. Both systems have different stages. Of course such similarities can be mentioned, but since the author does not really go any further than naming them, a gap remains between what the book suggests it presents and what it actually does.

The little book is not a bad read though. Here and there the author has an original explanation, cross-reference or thought. To me, I ‘categorise’ the book under ‘light reading’ with mostly known information, short chapters that can be little more than introductions to subjects and many images (the original photos are moody by the way). The book seems unfinished, as if the author had an idea, was rushed into publishing it without having had the time to properly work things out.

Of course you also have to be able to read German to read the book and, as I write this, the book only seems to be available from the Masonic Art Webshop.

Fischer also wrote instruction booklets for the three “blue grades” with the mention-worthy titles Schau In Dich (‘look inside yourself’) for Entered Apprentices, Schau Um Dich (‘look around you’) for Fellowcrafts and Schau Über Dich (‘look over yourself’) for Master Masons. The size and format seems to be the same as of the current title.

2018 Leipziger Fraumaurer Verlag, isbn 9783942947138M

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