A Dictionary of Alchemical Imagery by Lyndy Abraham PDF

By Lyndy Abraham

This dictionary records alchemical symbolism from the early centuries advert to the late-twentieth century, to be used by means of historians of literary tradition, philosophy, technology and the visible arts, and readers drawn to alchemy and hermeticism. every one access contains a definition of the emblem, giving the literal (physical) and figurative (spiritual) meanings, an instance of the logo utilized in alchemical writing, and a citation from a literary resource. There are fifty visible photos of photograph woodcuts, copperplate engravings and painted by hand logos, a few reproduced right here for the 1st time.

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The stage known as the ‘ ablution follows the putrefaction and is symbolized by women laundering dirty shirts or linen (see laundering). Musgrove has argued that Robert Herrick’s poem, ‘Upon Sudds, a Laundresse’, refers to this alchemical process: ‘SUDDS Launders Bands in pisse; and starches them /Both with her Husband’s, and her own tough fleame’ (lines 1-4) (Musgrove, ‘Herrick’s alchemical vocabulary’, 247). See also urine. imagery symbolizes the process o f‘ solve et coagula occurring during the augmentation of the quality and quantity of the Stone at the stage known as the ‘ multiplication.

8-9). a symbol of the ‘ putrefaction and ‘ black nigredo which is the first stage of the opus alchymicum. The old body of the metal or matter for the Stone is dissolved and putrefied into the first matter of ‘ creation, the ‘ prima materia, so that it may be regenerated and cast into a new form. The Hermetis Trismegisti TractatusAureus said of this initial stage of death and dissolution in the work: ‘The First is the Corvus, the Crow or Raven, which from its blackness is said to be the beginning of the Art’ (bk.

1,26). Likewise John Dastin wrote that after the rain of‘Dew-droppes... there schalbe a glad Conjunccion’ {tcb , 258). From this coniunctio the third principle, the ‘ philosopher’s stone, is generated: ‘The Earth therefore doth not germi­ nate without the watering humidity of May dew, that doth wash, pene­ trate, and whiten Bodies, like rain water, and of two Bodies make a new one’ (Artephius, in fc, 103). In agreement with ecclesiastical symbolism, the alchemists’ cleansing water is ‘a dew of grace’.

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A Dictionary of Alchemical Imagery by Lyndy Abraham


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