The books listed here have been both a source of inspiration to me and a glimpse into the world of Alchemy. When you sift through these books, you may find that truth is ultimately stranger than fiction.
Do you have any books about Alchemy that you’d like to share? Feel free to contact me and I’ll add it to the list!
The Alchemy Reader: From Hermes Trismegistus to Isaac Newton
Ranging from the pre-Christian era to Robert Boyle and Isaac Newton at the end of the seventeenth century, this Reader covers a broad range of alchemical authors and works. Organized chronologically, it includes around thirty selections in authoritative but lightly-modernized versions.
The selections will provide the reader with a basic introduction to the field and its interdisciplinary links with science and medicine, philosophy, religion, and literature and the arts.
The Alchemy Reader is available at Amazon.com.
The Element Encyclopedia of Magical Creatures
The newest entry in the popular Element Encyclopedia series spans the globe and the ages to present a feast of magical beasts, both familiar and rare. Populating this ultimate reference is a host of marvelous creatures, many of which have stirred our imagination since childhood; they come from fairytales and myths, and from beloved writers such as the Brothers Grimm, Lewis Carroll, J.R.R. Tolkien, and J.K Rowling. Each entry delves into folklore and history to reveal such secrets as why dragons guard the weather, how to make mermen laugh, and how a slow lizard cost humans the gift of eternal life. From Chinese dragons to Norwegian sea monsters, banshees to griffins, cherufes to lampaluguas, every fantastic figure gets its due.
The Element Encyclopedia of Magical Creatures is available at Amazon.com.
The Encyclopedia of Magic And Alchemy
With more than 500 entries, “The Encyclopedia of Magic and Alchemy” is a fascinating A-to-Z reference to the history of the Western magical and alchemical traditions, sorting history from myth and folklore and examining mystical beliefs through the ages. With roots reaching back to ancient Egypt, the classical world, and the Middle East, magic and alchemy have often played an integral part in science, politics, and religion. From the quest for the Philosopher’s Stone to 20th-century wizards like Aleister Crowley to contemporary pagans and wiccans, the full range of Western magic and its influence on society is documented here. Topics covered include history, lore, famous people, philosophies, procedures, materials, rituals, and relationships to science.
The Encyclopedia of Magic And Alchemy is available at Amazon.com.
Behind the Crystal Ball
From ancient times to the present, magic and science have always been intertwined.
In this fascinating book, astronomer/anthropologist Anthony Aveni conducts a whirlwind tour of occult practices–from astrology, alchemy, and phrenology to psychokinesis, crystals, and channeling–and finds that many of magic’s ancient rites have been revived and reexamined in the New Age.
Behind the Crystal Ball is available at Amazon.com.
48 Laws of Power
Amoral, cunning, ruthless, and instructive, this piercing work distills three thousand years of the history of power in to forty-eight well explicated laws. As attention–grabbing in its design as it is in its content, this bold volume outlines the laws of power in their unvarnished essence, synthesizing the philosophies of Machiavelli, Sun-tzu, Carl von Clausewitz, and other great thinkers. Some laws teach the need for prudence (“Law 1: Never Outshine the Master”), the virtue of stealth (“Law 3: Conceal Your Intentions”), and many demand the total absence of mercy (“Law 15: Crush Your Enemy Totally”), but like it or not, all have applications in real life. Illustrated through the tactics of Queen Elizabeth I, Henry Kissinger, P. T. Barnum, and other famous figures who have wielded–or been victimized by–power, these laws will fascinate any reader interested in gaining, observing, or defending against ultimate control.
48 Laws of Power is available at Amazon.com.
Mysteries: An Investigation into the Occult
Through personal experience, Colin Wilson discovered that human beings consist of a ladder or hierarchy of selves, whose upper members may be called upon at will for personal transformation and deep knowledge. Wilson’s new-found knowledge spurred him to write Mysteries—an attempt to apply his theory to all paranormal phenomena, from precognition to Uri Geller’s spoon bending. He presents detailed studies of hauntings, possession, and “demonic hypnosis,” as well as magic, the Kabbalah, and astrology. At the heart of his work is a fascinating discussion of the “Great Secret” of the alchemists, which Wilson sees as the key to the mystery of the “ladder of selves.”
Mysteries: An Investigation into the Occult is available at Amazon.com.
World Mythology: The Illustrated Guide
The great myths of the world create meaning out of the fundamental events of human existence: birth, death, conflict, loss, reconciliation, the cycle of the seasons. They speak to us of life itself in voices still intelligible, yet compellingly strange and distant. World Mythology offers readers an authoritative and wide-ranging guide to these enduring mythological traditions, combining the pure narrative of the myths themselves with the background necessary for more complete understanding. Here, noted mythology expert Roy Willis, brings together a team of nineteen leading scholars navigate a clear path through the complexities of myth as they distill the essence of each regional tradition and focus on the most significant figures and the most enthralling stories.
World Mythology: The Illustrated Guide is available at Amazon.com.