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Thread: Alchemists A-Z

  1. #21
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    Thoth (unknown)
    Thoth is an unusual god. Though some stories place him as a son of Ra, others say that Thoth created himself through the power of language. He is the creator of magic, the inventor of writing, teacher of man, the messenger of the gods (and thus identified by the Greeks with Hermes) and the divine record-keeper and mediator.

    Thoth's role as mediator is well-documented. It is he who questions the souls of the dead about their deeds in life before their heart is weighed against the feather of Maat. He was even sent by Ra to speak with Tefnut and ask her to return when she abdicated her position and went to Nubia. He is also the great counselor and the other gods frequently went to him for advice.

    Thoth is considered a lunar deity and is often depicted wearing the lunar crescent on his head. There is a story told of how Thoth won a portion of Khonsu's light, and this may be the reason. As a lunar deity his totem animal is the baboon, a nocturnal animal that goes to sleep only after greeting the new day. - source
    Free on-line text: The Emerald Tablets of Thoth
    Related thread: Thoth
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    Trevisan, Bernard or Bernard of Treves (c. 1406 - 1490)
    He was born into a noble family in Padua and spent his entire life spending his family fortune in search of the Philosopher's stone. He began his career as an alchemist at the age of fourteen. He had his family's permission, as they also desired to increase their wealth. He first worked with a monk of Citeaux named Gotfridus Leurier. They attempted for eight years to the fashion the Philosopher's stone out of hen eggshells and egg yolk purified in horse manure.

    He then worked with minerals and natural salts using distillation and crystallization methods borrowed from Geber and Rhazes. When these failed he turned to vegetable and animal material, finally using human blood and urine. He gradually sold his wealth to buy secrets and hints towards the stone, most often from swindlers. He traveled all over the known world, including the Baltics, Germany, Spain, France, Vienna, Egypt, Palestine, Persia, Greece, Turkey, and Cyprus, to find hints left by past alchemists. His health had been deteriorating, most likely from the fumes he had created with his alchemy. He retired to the Island of Rhodes, still working on the Philosopher's stone until his death in 1490.

    In the sixteenth century alchemical works were attributed to Bernard. For example, Trevisanus de Chymico miraculo, quod lapidem philosophiae appellant was edited in 1583 by Gerard Dorn. - source
    Free on-line text: Parable of the Fountain
    Related thread: None
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    Trismegistus, Hermes (unknown)
    The alleged teacher the magical system known as Hermetism of which high magic and alchemy are thought to be twin branches. The name Trismegistus means thrice greatest Hermes, and is the title given by the Greeks to the Egyptian god Thoth or Tehuti, a lord of wisdom and learning.

    At one time the Greeks thought two gods inseparable. Thoth governed over mystical wisdom, magic, writing and other disciplines and was associated with healing, while Hermes was the personification of universal wisdom and the patron of magic.

    The myths go further. Both gods are associated with sacred writings. As scribe for the gods, Thoth was credited with all the sacred books. In various Egyptian writings he is called twice very great and five times very great. Hermes is credited with writing 20,000 books by Iamblichus (ca. 250-300 BC), a Neo-platonic Syrian philosopher, and over 36,000 books by Manetho (ca. 300 BC), an Egyptian priest who wrote the history of Egypt in Greek, perhaps for Ptolemy I.

    The combined myths of these gods report that both Thoth and Hermes revealed to humankind the healing arts, magic, writing, astrology, science, and philosophy. Thoth wrote the record of the weighing of the souls in the Judgment Hall of Osiris. Hermes led the souls of the dead to Hades.

    According to legend Hermes Trismegistus is said to have provided the wisdom of light in the ancient mysteries of Egypt. "He carried an emerald, upon which was recorded all of philosophy, and the caduceus, the symbol of mystical illumination. Hermes Trismegistus vanquished Typhon, the dragon of ignorance, and mental, moral and physical perversion."

    Surviving Hermes Trismegistus is the wisdom of the Hermetica, 42 books that have profoundly influenced the development of Western occultism and magic. - source
    Free on-line text: The Corpus Hermeticum
    Related thread: The Caduceus of Hermes
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    Trithemius, Johannes (1462 - 1516)
    Johannes Trithemius was born on February 1, 1462. His Latin name, Trithemius, derives from Trittenheim, his city' of birth. He broke with his family to pursue a scholarly life and studied at Heidelburg. Having taken refuge in the Benedictine abbey of Sponheim during a snowstorm he resolved to stay and at the age of 21 became its abbot. As Abbot of Sponheim, Trithemius studied, wrote and amassed a large library. In 1506 Trithemius left Sponheim and became the Abbot of the Monastery of St. Jacob in Wurzburg. He died in 1516.

    Trithemius is an excellent example of the Renaissance fusion of Christianity, Hermetic Philosophy and its attendant sciences of magic, astrology and alchemy and Cabbala. His magical system depends on the sympathy and harmony between the three worlds of the material, celestial and angelic/Ideal.

    Trithemius says, "The word magic is the Persian term for what in Latin is called wisdom, on which account magicians are called wise men, just as were those three wise men who, according to the Gospel, journeyed from the East to adore, in his crib, the infant who was the Son of God in the flesh."

    Trithemius' work had considerable influence on later Renaissance writings on magic, particularly on Cornelius Agrippa. - source
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  2. #22
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    Valentinus, Basilius (c. 1394 - ?)
    Records of the life of Basilius Valentinus, the Benedictine monk who for his achievements in the chemical sphere has been given the title of Father of Modern Chemistry, are a mass of conflicting evidence. Many and varied are the accounts of his life, and historians seem quite unable to agree as to his exact identity, or even as to the century in which he lived. It is generally believed, however, that 1394 was the year of his birth, and that he did actually join the Benedictine Brotherhood, eventually becoming Canon of the Priory of St. Peter at Erfurt, near Strasburg, although even these facts cannot be proved.

    Whatever his identity, Basil Valentine was undoubtedly a great chemist, and the originator of many chemical preparations of the first importance. Amongst these are the preparation of spirit of salt, or hydrochloric acid from marine salt and oil of vitriol (sulphuric acid) the extraction of copper from its pyrites (sulphur) by transforming it firstly into copper sulphate, and then plunging a bar of iron in the watery dissolution of this product: the method of producing sulpho-ether by the distillation of a mixture of spirit of wine and oil of vitriol: the method of obtaining brandy by the distillation of wine and beer, rectifying the distillation on carbonate of potassium.

    His most famous work is his Currus Triumphalis Antimonii - The Triumphal Chariot of Antimony. His other works are The Twelve Keys - The Medicine of Metals - Of Things Natural and Supernatural - Of the First Tincture, Root and Spirit of Metals - and his Last Will and Testament. - source
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    Vemana (c. 1352 - ?)
    Kumaragiri Vema Reddy popularly known as Vemana was a 14th century Telugu poet. His poems were written in the popular vernacular of Telugu, and are known for their use of simple language and native idioms. His poems discuss the subjects of Yoga, wisdom and morality. He is popularly called Yogi Vemana, in recognition of his success in the path of Yoga. - source
    Free on-line text: None
    Related thread: None
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    Villeneuve, Arnold de (c. 1240 - c. 1311)
    Arnold of Villanova... studied medicine with great success in the University of Paris. He afterwards travelled for twenty years in Italy and Germany, where he made acquaintance with Pietro d'Apone; a man of a character akin to his own, and addicted to the same pursuits.

    As a physician, he was thought, in his own lifetime, to be the most able the world had ever seen. Like all the learned men of that day, he dabbled in astrology and alchemy, and was thought to have made immense quantities of gold from lead and copper. - source
    Free on-line text: None
    Related thread: None
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    Waite, Arthur Edward (1857 - 1942)
    ...a scholarly mystic who wrote extensively on occult and esoteric matters, and was the co-creator of the Rider-Waite tarot deck. As his biographer, R.A. Gilbert described him, "Waite's name has survived because he was the first to attempt a systematic study of the history of western occultism - viewed as a spiritual tradition rather than as aspects of proto-science or as the pathology of religion."

    Waite was a prolific author with many of his works being well received in academic circles. He wrote occult texts on subjects including divination, esotericism, Rosicrucianism, Freemasonry, black and ceremonial magic, Kabbalism and alchemy; he also translated and reissued several important mystical and alchemical works. - source
    Free on-line text: Books by A. E. Waite at Sacred Texts
    Related thread: None
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    Weigel, Valentin (1533 - 1588)
    ...a German theologian, philosopher and mystical writer, from Saxony, and an important precursor of later theosophy.

    He was born at Hayn, near Dresden, into a Catholic family. He studied at Meissen, Leipzig, and Wittenberg. In 1567 he became a pastor at Zschopau, near Chemnitz. There, he lived out a quiet life, engaged in his writings.

    He kept his ideas secret, entrusting them only to personal friends (in contrast to Jakob BŲhme). He carried out his parishioner duties and kept a low profile. He left around 6000 pages in printed or manuscript works. His ideas on human nature were only gradually and posthumously published. Johann Arndt, Gottfried Arnold, and Gottfried Leibniz helped to spread Weigel's ideas.

    His mysticism was marked by that of Johannes Tauler and by doctrines of Paracelsus; he was also a follower of Sebastian Franck and Caspar Schwenckfeldt. Like these two latter, he emphasized the inner life. - source
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  5. #25
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    Yates, Frances (1899 - 1981)
    Dame Frances Amelia Yates DBE was a noted British historian. She taught at the Warburg Institute of the University of London for many years. She wrote extensively on the occult or neoplatonist philosophies of the Renaissance. Her books Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition (1964), The Art of Memory (1966), and The Rosicrucian Enlightenment (1971) are major works.

    With the publication of Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition she transformed Renaissance historiography. In it Yates revealed the hermeticism with which the Renaissance was imbued, and the revived interest in mysticism, magic and Gnosticism of Late Antiquity that survived the Middle Ages.

    In the face of longstanding conventional interpretations, Yates suggested that the itinerant Catholic priest Giordano Bruno was executed in 1600 for espousing the Hermetic tradition rather than his affirmation of heliocentricity.

    Some of her conclusions have later been challenged by other scholars. Yates remains one of the great scholars of hermeticism in Renaissance Europe; and her book The Art of Memory (1966) has been named one of the most significant non-fiction books of the 20th century. - source
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  7. #27
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    Zachaire, Denis (1510 - ?)
    ...a 16th century alchemist who spent his life (and family fortune) in futile search for the Philosopher's Stone and the elusive Elixir of Life... Denis was sent to school at a young age in Bordeaux under the care of a tutor hired by the family.

    Unfortunately the tutor was so obsessed with alchymie and the Magnum Opus, Denis quickly found himself caught up in the hysteria and began pouring vast amounts of his parents' money into the mystic crucible. Labouring tirelessly in unhealthy smoke-filled chambers which he described as hotter than the Arsenal of Venice Denis and his tutor spent 200 crowns in less than a year at which point the tutor died of heat stroke and his parents reduced his allowance.

    After returning home to mortgage his inheritance. Denis takes up with a Philosopher - a term used rather loosely in this day - and later with a monk, both of whom help him burn up whatever gold he has left. Strangely, if his autobiography is an attempt at cautioning others from falling down the same downward spiral, why then does he claim, at the end, to have been successful. Some suggest that he was lying to save his reputation, others think that this passage was added postmortem, and still some hold onto the belief that he did manage to produce an elixir of eternal youth and still lives in the south of France to this very day. - source
    Free on-line text: Denis Zachaire's autobiography (excerpt)
    Related thread: None
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    Zozimos (c. 3rd - 4th century C.E.)
    …a Greek alchemist and Gnostic Mystic from the end of the 3rd century, beginning of the 4th A.D., who was born in Panopolis, present day Akhmim in the South of Egypt, ca. 300. He wrote the oldest known books on alchemy, of which only quotations in the original Greek language or translations into Syriac or Arabic are known.

    In general, his understanding of alchemy reflects the influence of Hermetic and Sethian-Gnostic spiritualities. The external processes of metallic transmutation-- the transformations of lead and copper into silver and gold--mirror an inner purification and redemption. - source
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  8. #28
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    *

    Footnote:

    Not everyone in this resource is an alchemist or hermeticist per se. Some are authors that write about alchemy, others have served as a source of inspiration for the actual practitioners. Then of course there are those who are merely mythological (but who is to say what is real or not).

    The intention of this resource is to not be thickheaded about these matters, but to provide a diverse and varied account of all those that have in some way or formed crossed paths with the Sacred Art of Alchemy!

    The only alchemists left out of the equation are fictional characters from the modern era such as Edward Elric for instance.

    If there is an alchemist that is missing - in your opinion - please post in this thread and I will bump it when I have time (also report broken links or if you get a thread going that ties in with one of these sages).


    Thanks
    deviadah



    Also big thanks to Radiant Star for her additional work!
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  9. #29
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    Enjoy!


    Donít let the delusion of reality confuse you regarding the reality of the illusion.

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