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Thread: Book Reviews & Suggestions

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    Book Reviews & Suggestions

    This is a Phoenix-thread from the old site created by taceyoto.

    I hope this is the right place to post this.

    Again, with all the alchemic texts in the world, who has time to read them all? I am sure some of us would love to, but until immortality is granted, this is an aspect of alchemic community we can benefit from. Here you can talk about books you have read pertaining to Alchemy and post your opinions and some points you found interesting or lacking in the books. This way knowledge can be shared more efficiently and hopefully create some intellectual conversation and some form of bonding within the group. Good Luck!
    Quote Originally Posted by deviadah
    Great idea...
    and worthy to place as a sticky!

    Let me just advice future posts in this topic to cite sources and also provide links related to the book reviewed (or if possible to the book itself if it's possible to read it on-line).
    Quote Originally Posted by taceyoto
    I am currently reading Sorcerer's Stone by Dennis William Hauck, I will supply a review when I am done unless someone has already read it...
    Quote Originally Posted by BeautifulEvil
    I'm wondering if anybody has read Le Mystère des Cathédrales (The Mystery of the Cathedrals) by Fulcanelli?

    I've heard some interesting thing about the book, but never had the chance to purchase it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jepetto
    Title: The Tarot: A Contemporary Course of the Quintessence of Hermetic Occultism
    Author: Mouni Sadhu
    ISBN: 1-904658-00-8
    Publisher: Aeon www.aeonbooks.co.uk

    Im about 150 pages in and on the 7th Arcanum. So far, I am impressed with this book, though it is my first book on Hermetic philosophy. The author had used the major arcana as a guide through the ideas. And each Arcanum is broken into several lessons. The lessons themselves are packed with information and ideas with little filler or fluff.

    One thing that has thrown me is that in this book, Lesson One starts with the Magician, and Aleph, while most references I see online start with the Fool. I had read somewhere that there is a small group who do use this method. The examples given in the book though are very convincing and seem to resonate very strongly inside.
    Quote Originally Posted by deviadah
    Quote Originally Posted by BeautifulEvil
    I'm wondering if anybody has read Le Mystère des Cathédrales...
    Here you go: The Mystery of the Cathedrals (PDF download)

    Also looking forward to your final judgement Jepetto!
    Quote Originally Posted by Aunt Clair
    Title :Initiation into Hermetics
    Author : Bardon , Franz
    Published in English by : Merkur Pub Co (March 2001)
    ISBN-10: 1885928122
    ISBN-13: 978-1885928122
    Available at Amazon
    http://www.amazon.com/Initiation-int.../dp/1885928122
    ebook
    http://highmagic.net/pdf/initiation.pdf

    Initiation into Hermetics by Franz Bardon is a classic primer which is hugely helpful in Hermetic Alchemy . Franz
    Bardon is a Czech magician who authored many occult books . Bardon was an incredible magician and so he was imprisoned by the Nazis and endured torture since he refused to give up arcane wisdoms to them .

    IIH is his most famous book and ,after a read, you will understand why . The steps he sets out are called the "10 Step Path of the Magician" , globally and these are useful frameworking into other magical studies beyond Hermeticism and Alchemy .

    Each of the 10 Steps have three parts including a mental , physical and psychic components .

    IIH is a clear and defined introduction to the utitlity of elemental energies.. Energy is the foundation of all magic and alchemy . Energy is not only pertinent to healing but is also useful for projection to the Higher Planes to be instructed by the Mahatma in matters of spiritual alchemy and transmutations.

    Bardon offers methods to develop meditative trance , projection , clairvoyance and clairaudience too, those these are not as clearly set out or as effective as his methods on the attributes , flow and utility of energies .
    Quote Originally Posted by monkeyblood
    Thanks for the tip,A.C. I just checked out I I H on Amazon thru that link you posted....there were 46 reviews...overwhelmingly positive....so I just bought my first foray into the world of alchemy......Bardon sounds an intriguing character from some of the things that were written about him in the reviews so I will be doing some research....just a question....has anyone studied the works of Michael Scot the alchemist?....and have an opinion?.....he also translated some of Aristotles works when they came back to the West....Dante had him in one of his circles of hell....also an intriguing person.....
    Quote Originally Posted by horticult
    Hello boys, I read almost everything from FB; he is my countryman. No too bad for start. In magic rings here are jokes about his methodology. Verbatim translation:

    Hi, how are you?
    Well, I am exercising Bardon for 6 months.
    Really, and can he retrieve yet??

    So, I do not know yours common names for dogs and the proper expression for their training, so use your own ingenuity to figure that joke out.
    Quote Originally Posted by horticult
    Fulcanelli s The Mystery of the Cathedrals and The Dwellings of the Philosophers are quite interesting. I have my noose in them for 10y now... You must be very vigilant about succession:
    materia prima IS NOT prima materia
    and various
    ADJECTIVES. that bloody mercury and other things have millions of different ADJECTIVES; that basically mean that author is speaking about something totally different or in another phase; yes, lead is gold, but in another time or from another point of view!!! philosopher is not equal sage etc etc... ...

    There is somewhere www page about his identity - it seems that he was a world famous chemist, and one of his inventions we are using maybe daily;; I am calling him comte de rajon.
    Quote Originally Posted by monkeyblood
    ....I got the gist of the joke,H,.....i think.....so who do you recommend?
    Quote Originally Posted by spectre
    Initiation into Hermetics seems to be best for practical spirit and magick works. However one chapter I noticed is about some alchemical work: Magick Physical Training (VIII) 5. - 9.. He talks about herbal and metal tinctures but he calls these "Fluid Condensers" and their purpose is mostly for what he calls "mental" (spirit) or "psychic" (soul) purposes but he shortly mentions "life elixirs". He mentions that you can make an alchemical elixir, or "fluid condenser", that benefits all parts: the mental, psychic and physical parts of yourself.

    I've got one question: What's the difference between essences and tinctures?
    Quote Originally Posted by ryanl
    In dealing with herbs, a tincture is basically an extract in solution with Ethanol or distilled water. Laudanum was a tincture of Opium, for example.

    An essense would be the "essential oil" of the herb and would be free of the Ethanol solution. In Alchemy, the essense is referred to as "mercury" which is not the same as metallic mercury (quicksilver), but it kind of shares the same properties of quicksilver. Like quicksilver, you can't burn it because it vaporizes in heat and flies away to condense again when cooled.

    Because of the essense's indestructible nature, it's sometimes referred to as the spirit of the herb.

    I hope this helps!
    Quote Originally Posted by spectre
    Yes thank you very much!

    I asked because Franz Bardon wrote that "tinctures are for the astral sphere (soul/psychic)" and that "essences are for the mental sphere (spirit)".
    Quote Originally Posted by monkeyblood
    Quote Originally Posted by Jepetto
    One thing that has thrown me is that in this book, Lesson One starts with the Magician, and Aleph, while most references I see online start with the Fool. I had read somewhere that there is a small group who do use this method. The examples given in the book though are very convincing and seem to resonate very strongly inside.
    I got my copy of Bardon's Initiation into Hermetics last week....gotta love Amazon sometimes,all the way from the States in eight days!.....so I did the preliminary skim read which was useful as a brief overview and have settled down to read it thoroughly with highlighter in hand.
    Bardon also claims the Magician is the first card of the tarot.....I have heard others say that The Fool is as well.....some say it can be either......it can be confusing....for what its worth I was taught the Magician is the first.....the Fool not being represented by any number.
    It was interesting to note the importance he placed on the knowledge of the elements....obviously they are very important in astrology as well,which is my interest...astrology,properly studied,takes the understanding of the elements to a deeper level by the study of the Aristotleian Four Primary Qualities of hot,dry,moist,cold which informs understanding of the elements,Fire,Water,Air and Earth.
    I have been (trying) to applying myself to Step 1.....I have been really lazy when it comes to meditating for a while now so I thought it was time......thought control is 'extremely important in magical development' (pg 67)......well,I had been doing it before bed and I find its been a great way to beat insomnia.....lol....so I do it after my morning exercise and I have to report that I have alot of work to do in that department.....the monkey mind!......
    I also like the emphasis on diet and looking after the body....I've been keeping a food diary and am in horror at the results......I just didnt realise how much crap I eat....I blame Taurus rising with Jupiter on it......the mention of skinbrushing is good....something I often forget to do...
    All in all I am finding it very useful in reminding me to do things I already know....I particularly like the way all the facets of magical training are put together.....it is a little dry and densely written so it calls for careful rereading to remember everything....most of all its all about the practice!.....wish there was a local magical training support group....
    Quote Originally Posted by BeautifulEvil
    He mentions that you can make an alchemical elixir, or "fluid condenser", that benefits all parts: the mental, psychic and physical parts of yourself.
    This is where the "spirit" of gold comes into the picture. Here's a good excerpt from "Gold of a Thousand Mornings" by Armand Barbault.

    The Sun, as master of the solar system, governs the whole of life. Gold can thus act on all forms of illness. It is chiefly associated with the blood and circulation, rejuvenation of cells and with the brain.
    It should noted that the description is lacking, because the "spirit" of gold works on all levels & planes (mental, psychic, and physical), and the ancients called it the universal medicine. Also, there are three varying degrees of perfection of the gold based philosopher's stone; the first order, the second order, and the highly secret third order (which is the one said to prolong life much more than the other levels, i.e. immortality).
    Quote Originally Posted by deviadah
    I re-named this topic to: Book Reviews & Suggestions

    I did so because that is what this topic really is...
    Quote Originally Posted by stevenmagus
    Some books that have been of great help and benefit for me.

    1- The Practical Handbook of Plant Alchemy - Manfred M. Junius
    2 - Alchemists Handbook - Manual for Practical Laboratory Alchemy - Frater Albertus
    3 - The Weiser Concise Guide to Alchemy - Brian Cotnoir
    4 - Alchemy and Metallic Medicines in Ayurveda - Vaidya Bhagwan Dash

    1 - Have it, have not read it yet.
    2 - Have it, read it, awesome book. I would put this book in the beginner/intermediate level.
    3 - Have it, read it, another awesome book. I would put this in the beginner level. Background, history, etc are explained in this book that are not in the book by Frater Albertus.
    4 - If you are looking for a challenge then this book is for you. This is a really awesome book and rare find, I had to special order it. If you want to order a copy I would suggest contacting Nataraj Books @ natarajbooks.com you can get the book for $20 plus shipping. This book also details how to create various gemstone elixirs/powders. This book was difficult for me on a few counts. It was the first real book on alchemy I ever had and it is not a beginner book in my opinion, but has a LOT of really good info. On another count it was because the book is completely based on Indian/Yogic philosophy, part of which I have no issue with as I have studied yoga and vedanta philosophy for a number of years. That said there was still an up hill battle with some of the terminology even though it was written in english. CAUTION: This is a real caution not a caution to peek curiosity. There are preparations in this book that discuss the use and distillation of mercury. Unless you have the experience of such things, I would not attempt until such time as you do, or have an appropriate teacher.

    Additional note on reading materials. For those wanting a structured "course" on the esoteric arts, kabbalah, alchemy, etc. I would suggest getting a copy of Triad Publishing course material on CD. I'm currently in the process of reading the material myself and can not really comment on it at this time, however if comes highly recommended.

    http://www.triad-publishing.com/cgi-...5b1+1211335221

    CD Contents:
    The Esoterics course of 12 lessons,
    The Spagyrics course of 48 lessons,
    The Mineral Alchemy course of 84 lessons,
    The Qabala course of 72 lessons,
    and as an added bonus, the 4-volume set of research papers on the Acetate Path, which include much of the relevant historical literature from Edward Kelly, Ripley, Weidenfeld, Becker, Hollandus and numerous others, and a previously unpublished paper by modern alchemist Robert Bartlett.

    Enjoy,
    Steven Magus
    Last edited by Phoenix; 01-03-2009 at 07:43 PM.
    This is a Phoenix-thread from the old site, and I move threads/posts that weren't possible to be moved in their creators name!

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    Wiki: Spagyric
    Quote Originally Posted by Green Lion
    1 - Have it, have not read it yet.
    Really good book on spagyria.
    2 - Have it, read it, awesome book. I would put this book in the beginner/intermediate level.
    A little more haziness, but interesting.

    I don’t know the two others books. I think I will buy the Alchemy and Metallic Medicines in Ayurveda by Vaidya Bhagwan Dash.

    I would suggest getting a copy of Triad Publishing course material on CD. I'm currently in the process of reading the material myself and can not really comment on it at this time, however if comes highly recommended.
    This courses are from Jean Dubuis, a French alchemist who founded the “Philosophes de la Nature” association.
    It is very interesting and good for the beginners in the laboratory.
    I think that the unpublished paper by Robert Bartlett is equivalent to his new book named “Real Alchemy”, witch is interesting.
    Quote Originally Posted by stevenmagus
    I think that the unpublished paper by Robert Bartlett is equivalent to his new book named “Real Alchemy”, witch is interesting.
    Does anyone have a copy of or link to Robert Bartlett's unpublished paper?

    Thanks,
    Steven Magus
    Quote Originally Posted by solomon levi
    Seeing all these posts on Bardon, I can't help but throw in one of my favorites of "Spiritual" or "Internal" Alchemy, (as opposed
    to labratory work):

    Julius Evola - The Hermetic Tradition, symbols and teachings of the royal art.

    I don't know how to begin to describe this man's work, but if you're into working on the "inner stars" of alchemy and your astral
    body as it relates to Hermeticism, do yourself a favor and read this book. He's a prolific author, also writing on Tantra, Buddhism,
    Yoga... in a very intelligent and authoritative way. I have most of his books and they are all enlightening as to the subject at hand.
    See the table of contents here:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0892...pt#reader-link

    And here is wikipedia on Julius Evola:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julius_Evola
    Quote Originally Posted by Jepetto
    Quote Originally Posted by monkeyblood
    Bardon also claims the Magician is the first card of the tarot.....I have heard others say that The Fool is as well.....some say it can be either......it can be confusing....for what its worth I was taught the Magician is the first.....the Fool not being represented by any number.
    I am just about done reading this book (the Mouni Sadhu one I mentioned above) and in here the Fool is placed as the 21st card. A quick skip ahead, says that the fool is given the card number 0 because it does not arise from any other card.

    I still intend on providing a full review of this book as soon as Im finished. Just been reading and distracted by many other things in the mean time.

    Also I had forgotten the name Bardon from reading this thread a while ago, and through another site stumbled upon his IIH. I look forward to studying this book also after I finish the Sadhu book.

    Lol, Ive a good sized stack of books and printed pages all over my desk filled with bookmarks. Im sure from and outside perspective I must look to be one hell of a mess. Though I guess this is somewhat common for anyone involved in doing research of any kind.
    This is a Phoenix-thread from the old site, and I move threads/posts that weren't possible to be moved in their creators name!

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    Evola

    I, too, have read Evola's work on alchemy, The Hermetic Tradition. He describes in great detail both the dry and wet methods of preparing the stone. My concern is that he is too transparent. Alchemists of yore worked very hard to conceal the secrets of the craft. Evola blows everything open. Conversely, he is very adept at explaining the significance of the sulphur/mercury connection and the soul vs. spirit cum body configuration. His is not an easy work to read. I read the book at least twice before I grasped much of what he had to say. Finally, Evola's work is appropriate for the spiritual alchemist as well as the practical one. Overall, though, I prefer a little mysticism with my recipes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SNODGRJL View Post
    I, too, have read Evola's work on alchemy, The Hermetic Tradition. He describes in great detail both the dry and wet methods of preparing the stone. My concern is that he is too transparent. Alchemists of yore worked very hard to conceal the secrets of the craft. Evola blows everything open. Conversely, he is very adept at explaining the significance of the sulphur/mercury connection and the soul vs. spirit cum body configuration. His is not an easy work to read. I read the book at least twice before I grasped much of what he had to say. Finally, Evola's work is appropriate for the spiritual alchemist as well as the practical one. Overall, though, I prefer a little mysticism with my recipes.
    Yeah, I've read it probably five times.
    It takes some digesting I guess.

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    R.A. Schwaller de Lubicz...
    After being introduced to the possibility that this was the man
    behind Fulcanelli's knowledge - which I am even more confident of now -
    I've been reading his works and books about him by others that knew him.
    There is amazing stuff in these books!
    I thought he was an Egyptologist, but he's definitely an alchemist
    and mainly concerned with evolution of consciousness and perception.
    Reminds me somewhat of J.Krishnamurti.
    But there's very intelligent stuff on alchemy.
    And if you explore the memoirs written about him, you might find the
    secret openly revealed.

    I'll try to provide some quotes when I have more time.

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    Hello everyone,
    I was looking all over the internet, trying to find a PDF file of this book and cant seem to find it.
    I was wondering if someone already has it or knows where to find it.
    Here is a link to the book.
    Liz Greene - The Astrology Of Fate

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    Hey again everyone,
    I have this request also
    I cant seem to find books of thees authors
    Ibn Sinna (Avicenna) and
    Abu Musa Jabir ibn Hayaan
    I have been looking for thees authors but I couldn't seem to find anything
    Does anyone know, does there exist anything in English out from thees authors
    If anyone has anything please let me know I would really like to find any alchemical writings from them
    Thank you

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ilos View Post
    Hey again everyone,
    I have this request also
    I cant seem to find books of thees authors
    Ibn Sinna (Avicenna) and
    Abu Musa Jabir ibn Hayaan
    I have been looking for thees authors but I couldn't seem to find anything
    Does anyone know, does there exist anything in English out from thees authors
    If anyone has anything please let me know I would really like to find any alchemical writings from them
    Thank you
    Try this link for the works of Geber:
    http://books.google.com/books/about/...d=siLPmQew3AoC

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    Hey Zok
    thanks for your suggestion
    the book seems interesting, I also found it to read it

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    Hey everyone,
    I am curious in reading thees books
    but I cant seem to find to download them on the internet
    is it possible maybe anyone here have any of them
    please check the links below
    The Alchemy Reader From Hermes Trismegistus to Isaac Newton
    and
    A Dictionary of Alchemical Imagery

    I Edited the post for another book, please if anyone has any one thees books let me know.
    Tree Medicine

    thank you
    Last edited by Ilos; 01-03-2013 at 06:19 PM.

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